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Animus Mortis - Thresholds of Insanity

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Artist: Animus Mortis

Album: Thresholds of Insanity

Label: Debemur Morti

Review date: Jun. 18, 2006

Chile’s Animus Mortis eschew the brand of feral thrash usually associated with South American metal, offering a demo of surprising depth that draws equally from Scandinavian masters and the sort of fringe metal typified by the intentionally cryptic Velvet Cacoon [sic].

Multiple layers of guitars, machine-gunning drums and vocal rasp recalls Pentagram-era Gorgoroth, but the sound and recording itself are far superior, making Animus Mortis sound twice as large as it is. Song structure is typical and uninteresting, yet the slow development is legitimately entrancing, not unlike the aforementioned Velvet Cacoon [sic], whose songs – especially on the magnificent Genevieve record – were nothing more but five to seven minute meditations on single riff repetition. “Dying Murmur” is point and fact, with a riff that patiently transforms over four minutes, occasionally coupling with somber keys and vocal growls. “Desolate” and “Ethereal Dimensions” are the most powerful things here, plodding relentlessly forward with the sort of verve that recalls Hate Forest’s Schythia or even the most recent work of Drudkh. Perhaps to break things up a bit, Animus Mortis works up the noir ambient, creating ominous hums and rattles around a repetitive key figure. As with Velvet Cacoon [sic], what seems to be a throwaway piece actually transmogrifies into the following song, where fragile fundamentals are fleshed out into fully-grown song. “Desolate” hangs a sumptuous melody out front, the type of tonal wash that Autechre occasionally unfolds around their dreary beats.

Thresholds of Insanity represents a culling of the traditional and avant-garde, a compositional chance that few Black Metal bands take and even fewer attain.

By Stewart Voegtlin

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