New Jersey thrashers Anticosm return with their second full length album, almost an hour of flesh tearing thrash riffs, soaked in a blackened atmosphere. It’s a fresh, riff-tastic record that is surprisingly melodic, with certain songs inserting themselves behind your eyes, and staying there for hours. I must say though, sorry lads but I hate your album cover. I really dislike these cartoony, hand drawn covers, they do nothing for me at all. But there you go, everyone has their own opinions on these things.
The uber catchy ‘Where Nightmares Breed’ is a particular favourite of mine, with some great melodies that don’t sacrifice the inherent savagery of the delivery. Anticosm manage to fit in two eight minute plus songs too, neither feeling overstretched or pointless. ‘Black Magic’ is a huge slab of excellent riffs, melodic soloing and roaring vocals. It is a pleasant surprise that a new thrash album can still do the great riffing AND have harsh vocals without being a rabid, almost black metal band.
‘The Root of Evil’ and ‘Killing Machine’ are a great mid-album couplet, both oozing aggression and quality melodies in equal amounts. There’s a great sense of grandeur about some of their song writing that’s missing in a lot of thrash. The brutal breakdown section halfway through ‘Wake Up In Hell’ leads to some classy black metal riffs and a great solo. The rage of ‘Erected from the Grave’ leads into the epic closer ‘Season of Ill Wind’, a nine minute tour de force that revels in its glorious blackened and thrashing heritage. A ludicrous cover of Men at Work’s ‘Land Down Under’ is a weird bonus highlight, but it doesn’t detract from the overall excellence of the album.
‘Anticosm’ is a quality thrash album that dabbles with some of black metal’s more caustic atmospherics, but sticks to great riffing and spiralling solos. A mature offering from a band who I didn’t know before this, but will definitely follow in the future.