Once in a while, my long suffering wife will break her silent suffering to question just why in the name of Johnny Fuck Knuckles I feel the need to own thousands upon thousands of records and CDs of bands which she long ago decided sound “pretty much the same.” After a silent inquiry to the same Johnny Fuck Knuckles as to whatever possessed me to marry a chick with very little connection to music and absolutely no connection to metal, I wondered aloud why she possesses so many books on the topic of spirituality and philosophy when every author she reads claims to be the one with the answer to all of life’s questions. Our divide may not make sense on the surface, but the argument is essentially of the same point: when you’re really, really into something, it gives you a deeper perspective on that topic based on intricacies and minutiae someone not as invested may not cotton on to.
If push came to shove and forces beyond my control made it so that I had to distill my record collection down to minimal amounts or I for some strange reason was drafted to give a TED Talk on death metal, using Holland’s Anarchos as an example of the genre’s sonic scope would be a viable consideration. The quartet possesses elements of both old and new school, of both caveman simplicity and studied technicality, and of both a look into the future and a regression to the past. One minute they sound like they’ve crawled from the everglades on the back of an Obituary or Nasty Savage demo (“Retribution of the Doomed,”) or that they’re going to be the band to continue the forward thrust of Swe-death (“Dominions of Blashphemy”).
At the next turn of the coin, it’s all about aping Erik Rutan’s Hate Eternal and years in Morbid Angel. Moments of furious and antiseptic speed (“Far Beyond Infinity” intro and first verse) akin to fellow Dutchmen Sinister counteract against ridiculously melodic parts that hook themselves into your cranium (“Far Beyond Infinity” chorus and outro riff) and ping pong off of faceless sequences that seem carried out more to tick boxes instead of following the spirit of the song (“Far Beyond Infinity” mid section). And in case that wasn’t an obvious enough example, there’s “Cursed Gift” which makes the same disparate and meandering moves.
If there’s a glaring weakness to this band’s debut full-length, it’s the skittish and perpetual search for an identity that never gets resolved. Anarchos unabashedly does death metal and does in it quite well; it’s just that they’re doing too much of it at once without a focus on what actually constitutes continuity and laser-sighted brutality.
Invocation of Moribund Spirits Track Listing:
01. Far Beyond Infinity
02. Cursed Gift
03. Retribution of the Doomed
04. Through Whom They Crawl
05. Dominions of Blasphemy
06. Cold Funeral
07. Deformed Abomination
08. Initiating Lawless Rites
09. Nacentes Morimur
Run Time: 38:57
Release Date: December 18, 2017
Hear the band’s entire album Invocation of Moribund Spirits here.