Anorexia Nervosa
Redemption Process

With the album opening salvo of ‘The Shining’, France’s Anorexia Nervosa graced my ears with one of the most epic, grandiose and powerful song openings I’ve heard in 2004. The sheer scale of the synth laden dramatics and thunderous buzz of the guitars is the introduction to one superb album and a black metal album, which amid its obvious Dimmu Borgir and Old Man’s Child comparisons, has a symphonic overture-ish personality reminiscent of classic Nightside era Emperor.Featuring a superb but very un-black metal production that sounds more like Dismember’s harsh buzz (just listen to the single guitar break at 4:48 of ‘Sister September’), Anorexia Nervosa weave an enthralling, pulse quickening atmosphere that’s hard to lump in with so many other symphonic, overly glossy black metal bands (Graveworm, Apostasy, etc) due to their increased intensity and seething menacing pomp. The use of a synthetic but ominous horn/brass section, instead of the usual willowy keyboard romantics, gives the music a glorious, over the top atmosphere of sweeping majesty. Want to really cement a tangible Emperor comparison? Go straight to the 2:35 minute mark of ‘Codex Veritas’ and tell me that is not ‘Inno A Satana’ with some added girth. Want blistering climaxes? If you can get past the native tongue spoken word, check out the last 2 minutes of the painfully intense ‘Worship Manifest’. Or maybe you desire some lurching, blackened menace? For that, simply skip to the mid-section of ‘Antiferno’ (which, minus the synths could be any classic Sunlight Studio produced death metal band).

The entire album, with its 7 lengthy, in depth tracks is a tour de force of blackened, regal majesty all veneered with a guitar tone to die for, although far from ‘true’ or ‘kult’ black metal. Even when treading less explosive tempo’s such as the pummeling gait of ‘The Sacrament” and “Sister September”, the sheer grandiosity of the material is only heightened, and again due to the production, veers very heavily into Scandinavian death metal with synths. There isn’t a weak of filler moment on the album, and I haven’t heard an album this epic yet scathing since Arthemesia’s Devs-Iratvs a few years ago. Granted, the drums are slightly drowned out by the overbearing guitars and essentially merely dictate the pace of the song, but the allure of the warlike synths and blazing guitars is the essence of this album, not the percussion.

Redemption Process is the bane of pure black metal; its well produced, laced with synths and has more than a nod to scene targets Dimmu Borgir and Cradle if Filth, but when all is said and done, it fucking smokes and is one of the better black metal albums I’ve heard this year.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
December 17th, 2004

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