Originally written by Tim Pigeon
Flying in the face of what Bill O’Reilly and the FOXNews crew preach, there ARE good things coming out of France. Exhibit #1 is this ferocious slab of black metal, the 4th full-length album from Anorexia Nervosa. The good news for fans of the band is that their basic sound is unchanged from 2000’s Drudenhaus, which I own, and 2001’s New Obscurantis Order, which I’ve heard. The good news for everyone else is that Redemption Process surpasses both of those. The songs here are tighter, more epic, and more effective.
Anorexia Nervosa play their black metal loud and symphonic, with keys, horns, strings, and choirs used in a subtle manner, developing haunting atmospheres. The vocals are dominated by torturous screams as expected, along with very brief bouts of accented singing and whisperings. The production is very suitable for AN’s sound, not raw, but not overproduced, although the guitars should be louder, as many superb riffs aren’t given their deserved emphasis.
Right from the start, AN prove that they mean business. “The Shining” is one of my top songs of the year. An ominous intro sets the mood for the blasting mayhem to follow – one of the few instances where the blastbeat is used. The best comparison I could think of for how this sounds is Naglfar meets Dimmu Borgir. Great venomous riffing characterizes “Antiferno”, while “Sister September” is a cathartic voyage, with many a pained scream. Yet another highlight is the verse sections at 0:30 and 5:15 of “An Amen”, which are truly intense.
After hearing this fine work of dark art, I have to promote Anorexia Nervosa to my-favorite-French-band status, displacing Furia (at least until I hear a new album). Black metal is not my preferred genre, but great albums transcend all that. Redemption Process is strong from any perspective, as this will undoubtedly find its way onto my top 10 list, and hopefully into your collection.