"The Involution Philosophy"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Lovers of epic, technical thrash metal will be pleasantly surprised by this Italian band with the clunky name. I wasn't expecting much when I put this in, but instead got something drawing from the best of Megadeth, Annihilator and Forbidden. It's not perfect...the sound is raw and dry, the vocals a bit on the whiny side and with song titles like "Mind Surrounds the Cavities of Fear", it's obvious English is not the band's first language...but it's extremely heavy, very well played and quite engaging.

There's some real monster tunes like the title track and "Apolide" on show, exceeding eight minutes in length, but it's a tribute to Annihilationmancer that they almost never become dull. Songs veer from classic Bay area rifferama to a more melodic kind of thrash ala Nevermore to pounding, almost robotic Meshuggah-type dissonance. I like the opening "Antimateria/Etereo" combination but "Corner of the Answers" is the blowaway almost reminds me of the mighty Artillery in its opening moments, before shifting into complex, blinding thrash. A top class song!

The whiny lead  vocals remind me a lot of Mustaine in a bad mood and get somewhat monotonous over the course of the record. And there's a kind of unpolished feel that holds the band back...but also gives it welcome rawness. On the whole, I was really pleased by what Annihilationmancer offered up here. I just wish they'd change their name.