Portugal is the land of feijoada, francecinhas and, of course, a million bacalhau recipes. And let me tell you something, I enjoy those dishes a lot, and I am a fan of Portuguese cuisine in general. And here is another thing that I enjoy a lot and which I am a fan of: Annihilation's debut album from 2011 Against the Storm.
Although Portugal is not a country people generally associate with rock music let alone metal (other than Moonspell, of course), there is actually a Portuguese metal scene, and Annihilation represent the more brutal aspect of that scene, as Against the Storm is a collection of tasty brutal death metal tunes. Against the Storm is a lesson in brutal riffage, and the guitar sound is so brutally heavy that it could be measured in metric tonnes. With the likes of Suffocation, all the elements of old school brutal death metal are there, such as pinched harmonics, palm-muted picking and US styled blastbeats along with god old fashioned growls, and, of course, chaotic guitar solos full of whammy bar madness (this does not apply to all the solos though, as some are actually quite melodic).
Staying true to the Suffocation style of brutal death metal, Annihilation's compositions on Against the Storm are, while old school, far from primitive. Each tune consists of a plethora of riffs and changes and breakdowns and build-ups, and characterizing Annihilation's music as technical brutal death metal (or at least quasi-technical brutal death metal) would not be inappropriate. There are many sections where Annihilation venture into the territory of tense and, at times, dissonant harmonies, which contribute to the intensity of the album.
Annihilation's Against the Storm is a most welcome reminder that, in spite of the mass of indistinguishable so-called br00tal deathcore bands, old school brutal death metal is still alive and killing. Fans of Suffocation, Defiled, and Cannibal Corpse might want to check Annihilation's debut album out.
1. Tortured With Hate
3. Sacrifice Of Existence
4. At War
5. Illusions of a Mirage
7. Hear Them