Anti-Mortem (precede death in Latin) were formed in 2008 in Chickasha, Oklahoma by brothers Larado Romo (Vocals) and Nevado Romo (Guitars) along with Zain Smith (Guitars), Corey Henderson (Bass) and Levi Dickerson (Drums) and spent their early years turning the Smith family barn in to their own hand built concert stage and putting their own shows on whilst the Smith parents were out of town (nice move guys).
This release is due out on the 25th of April (28th in the UK) and was produced, recorded and mixed by Bob Marlette (BLACK STONE CHERRY, LYNYRD SKYNYRD, SHINEDOWN, ROB ZOMBIE) and contains 12 tracks (13 if you count the cover of Mr Big’s “A Little Too Loose”) of a “New Southern” style of crunchy metal riffs and thunderous bass lines.
The first thing that struck me about this album is the artwork and it’s actually very rare to receive a “hard copy” to review these days I do still checkout the artwork albeit on google as that is what pretty much pulled me into metal all those years ago (thank you very much Mr. Derek Riggs). Anti-Mortem have obviously had the very same idea, the attention to detail is amazing, you can actually see the tattoos on the soldiers arms! Anyway on with the music!
The first track on the album is “Words of Wisdom” and this little slice is a perfect example of the overall pie which is “New Southern”, This song has been a constant in my DJ sets since it hit my inbox earlier this year, The track opens up with a lovely singular guitar riff which is doubled up shortly after and then joined by the drums, Vocals kick in with an aggressive demeanor but not a growl insight. The riff that accompanies the chorus is a melodic deeply punchy piece of genius that will subconsciously take a hold of your neck muscles and push them into a slow but brutal head bang, the time changes all work brilliantly and this track in my opinion is a perfect opener as it grabs attention, shows you what the band are all about and kicks off the mood excellently.
Track two is the title track “New Southern” and whilst still maintaining its grittiness has a certain bluesy slant to it, lyrics are well thought out and fit well (pay attention Metallica) my favorite line of which is “New Southern I live this way, going straight to Hell on a rainy day, New Southern coz I live this way”
Anyway one two skip a few and I get to track seven (I never write about every track that would just defeat the purpose) “Path to Pain” is a slower track with a teasing high note intro which drops in to a tasty crunch laiden riff with a couple squeals skillfully inserted for good measure, vocal style throughout the album is consistent however this one feels a little more aggressive save during the majority of the verses which begin very calmly and escalate to a understandable scream. Both guitars drop some rather tasty solo’s into this one then they deliver another round of the chorus before teasing the outro a little but in a very stompy, crunchy way.
Jumping to track ten “Stagnant Water” (mainly because I link to the video for it and then you can have a listen) this was the bands first video and it’s a good choice, Larado brings you in alone with a very bluesy styled intro then the deep riffs drop in and you’re away on a journey of melodic, deep riffed, blues fed heavy rock awesomeness, a couple of nice time changes included and this track is concluded in a haze of headbanging goodness.
Track eleven “Truck Stop Special” begins with a very southern American styled intro (understandable) before reverting to the styling that I have been describing throughout this review, to sum up the whole album sound and band, I’d say that this bunch of guys are by far one of the best bets for the future of metal with their bottom heavy, riff laden, balls out hard rock anthems that do stand up well against the masters of this genre, in closing then I lift my beer to you guys and bring that sound to a live stage in the UK very fucking soon!
Full track listing:
1. Words Of Wisdom
2. New Southern
3. 100% Pure American Rage
4. Hate Automatic
5. Black Heartbeat
6. I Get Along With The Devil
7. Path To Pain
8. Wake Up
9. Ride Of Your Life
10. Stagnant Water
11 Truckstop Special
13. A Little Too Lose (bonus track – MR. BIG cover)