ANZILLU “Ex Nihilo”

By Dr. Abner Mality

ANZILLU sounds like something that should be fighting Godzilla, but is a new thrash metal band coming from Finland. Unfortunately, they have to follow the recent likes of HIGH COMMAND and SPIRITWORLD in my listening queue and when compared to those acts, they just don’t measure up. Now that’s not saying “Ex Nihilo” is a bad album at all, but it’s a little flat in comparison to some of the great thrash I’ve heard recently.

They actually start pretty strong.”Needles” (On My Nerves) sounds rather familiar but definitely has the thrashing energy. The very nasal vocals of Teemu are going to be a turnoff for some, but thrash has always had this kind of singing. The intensity increases with “Mental Graveyard”, which is the standout track on the album...this is a twisting, volatile listen that shows the promise of ANZILLU. So far their thrash is rooted in the European classics. “Trumpets of War” shows a more pounding and mid-tempo side to the band and “The Cleansing Flame” tosses melody into the equation.

Then the album really hits a speed bump, as the middle of the album has ANZILLU sounding more like commercialized groove metal than the real deal. “Discordia” and “Dauntless” both come across as purely average and lacking bite. “Splinter in the Mind’s Eye” is more intense but kind of disjointed.

They do recover with a violently thrashing “Vulture” and the epic title track, which really shows good use of atmosphere and pacing. It ends the album on an up note.

So I can’t say “Ex Nihilo” is an essential purchase by any means, but there is some promise here if the band can figure out what path they want to take. “Choose wisely, grasshopper”, as they said in the old “Kung Fu” TV show.