Anticosm - Anticosm

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Band Anticosm
Album Anticosm
Country United States of America
Genre Black Metal, Thrash Metal
Release date (album) 2015
Release date (review) 2015/09/13


Maybe this type of music can be pointed towards as an unmistakable result of an evolution of a band that has been around for a while. More than ten years have passed since Anticosm has seen the light of day, a decade since their first demo and six since their debut full-length. Yes, indeed time flies … what a merciless bastard.

To put this latest output into a proper perspective it might be best to reflect a bit how the music has changed over the course of the last years and how this latest output fits into all of this. With Against the Cosmos the band dared to present their early music with a good additional amount of bite and energy. This output was somewhat unclear in direction though and left the listener with a nice mixture of well crafted approaches, of which some had the undeniable focus of being quite adequate for a live performance. This impression only increased with the succeeding output The Wreckoning. Aside from this it needs to be stressed that the conceptual approaches included calm keyboard passages, short choir parts and acoustic elements. A rather diverse approach in terms of thrash and black metal. As it happened though, those additional aspects were put aside with their 2011 output and have not made much of an an appearance since.

This had the result that the music felt more focussed and had a larger emphasis on the metal genre. Small sparks from the acoustic genre were still allowed to find their way into it all, yet they impact was rather negligible compared to the rest. Anticosm have increased the level of intensity and dynamics in the music. Solos played a larger role and it really felt that they wanted to give the listener (or the live audience) less time to breathe. And with the latest release to see the light of day, it appears that the Americans have followed this path even further.

Yes, the eponymous second full-length is heavy and is not heavy at the same time. It is the concept of the aforementioned ep stretched over a longer distance and with additional elements woven into it. It is a traditional mixture of thrash and black metal, it is no reinvention of the genre, but it was done by a band that has a definite and unmistakable concept, which they like to follow through. As such, it is no surprise to see the variations of numerous approaches in various stages of the album. One might even go so far and describe it “matured”. Simple straight-forward celebration of music is something this band has not in mind. Rather and this is also expressed in two rather long compositions (Black Magic [08:09] & The Season Of Ill Wind [09:48]) twists and turns make up the album, but it is by no means progressive or even avant-garde. It is what they have always done. Intense vocals performance, dense musical structures, catchy rhythms and a good amount of dynamics. Take a keg of beer or two an enjoy it.

Matters are not as easy. A comparison between the track Root of All Evil and the succeeding Killing Machine reveals an apparent lack of direction, which is not as much of a negative thing as it may sound at the moment. Should someone give this release a try and have never ever experienced some glimpse of a performance of this band before, then the shiftiness in the concept might come over as an unnecessary burden on it all. Anticosm is less accessible than before. Thefore, it would have been nice to see one short composition, which would just be an intense blast but which would also contain all of what Anticosm's is all about. Some counterpoint so to speak.

All in all it is a good album, which shows the capabilities and the potential of the band. As someone not from the immediate vicinity of the band's homestead – and there are no chances that this will chance any time soon –, I am unable to give an account of the band's live performance. Yet as a distant observer, I still imagine that this type of music will definitely be able to get a crowd going. Those two genres associated with the band are by no means of the standard formula, as a focus on melodic and technical aspects shift the music in a less ordinary branch of the genre. Undoubtedly, this band attempts to be different and to explore their concept with each release a little bit further and with this latest output they provide the metal scene with their music mature performance so far. Maybe this stuff is more for open minded people, but since you can download the release for free right now, it may not hurt to give this band a try.