May 29, 2014 Anti-Mortem – New Southern (Album review)
Through the years there has certainly been quite a few metal and hard rock bands inspired by legends such as Pantera, Metallica, Judas Priest, Dio, Iron Maiden, among others. One band deriving clear influence from all the aforementioned acts is Chickasha, Oklahoma’s Anti-Mortem. Formed in 2008, when most of the world of music was embracing the trend of techno music, this band decided to keep with the roots of rock-n-roll, and follow their musical dreams. Comprised of Larado Romo (Vocals), Nevada Romo (Guitar), Corey Henderson (Bass), Zain Smith (Guitar), and Levi Dickerson (Drums), Anti-Mortem spent most of their youth fine-tuning their playing into what has become a colossus mix of heavy southern fried rock and metal. Now signed to Nuclear Blast records, the band recently released their debut album titled New Southern. Featuring the expertise of legendary producer Bob Marlette (Shinedown, Seether, Black Stone Cherry), Anti-Mortem look to hone their variety of influences and inspirations into a cohesive work on this new album.
Opening the album with the single “Words of Wisdom” instantly blows the listener right out of the water. This fast-paced, hard-hitting tune has some great upbeat tempos and killer guitar riffs. It is a perfect introduction to Anti-Mortem for new and unfamiliar fans. On the title track, an echoing sound leads you into a pure intense southern style metal. Fans who love to release aggression within the confines of a mosh pit will certainly love the single “100% Pure American Rage”. Featuring some of the most brutal guitars and vocals on the entire album, the song will remind listeners of the golden age of Pantera.
Showing different aspects of their style, “Hate Automatic” is one of the most contagiously rhythmic songs brought to the dance. This song is completely flawless and will instantly leave listeners with the feeling that this is what a southern style Metallica may sound like. Up next, the more hard rock radio friendly “Black Heartbeat” driving home some amazing guitar work from Nevada and Smith, along with some intense powerful vocals from Larado that make the band that much more endearing. Following a similar vibe as bands like Hellyeah, “I Get Along With the Devil” is a stand-out track filled with intensity and balls of aggression.
Proving they are influenced by a broad range of rock and metal “Path to Pain” bears a sound similar to Armored Saint. Larado’s singing for this track strikes a somewhat uncanny resemblance to John Bush, while remaining unique to his own inflections. The song is energizing and worthy of cranking up the stereo. Taking things into a higher gear with powerful backup vocals is “Wake Up”. Keeping a speedy tempo, the aggressive guitar riffs and vocals instantly stimulate movement with a clear simple lyrical message. This groove is kept up through “Ride of your Life” which is perfect for cruising down the highway while exceeding the speed limit.
Continuing the joyride is “Stagnant Water” keeping up with monstrous guitar riffs and killer solos. Painting a vivid picture of the south, “Truck Stop Special”, starts off with a stereotypical southern style that immediately transforms into heavy shredding worthy of throwing metal horns in the air. The thick guitar tones make it a pure metal anthem full of fun and aggression. Wrapping up New Southern is the song “Jonesboro” which is highlighted by a passionate yet heavy sound concluding the album in solid fashion.
New Southern certainly silences critics and naysayers who say that metal music is a dying genre. Anti-Mortem’s youthful outlook on southern driven metal warrants attention of all types of hard rock and metal fans. They brings straight-up aggressive guitar driven heavy music with passion, energy, emotion, and raw intensity that is channeled perfectly with New Southern. CrypticRock gives this album 5 out of 5 star.