Portugal's ANNIHILATION, after six years, have released their second full-length titled "The Undivided Wholeness Of All Things", a blistering, staggering, throttling cauldron of death metal with a little tech thrown in for good measure. Although new vocalist Sofia Silva (Neoplasmah) has joined their ranks for future releases, she does not appear on the new album. It'll be interesting to see how the brutality evolves with her leading the pack.
In the meantime, "The Undivided Wholeness Of All Things" opens with melodic instrumental wanderings before tilting face first into 'Universal Dismal Collapse', a track that sounds like a horde of monstrous bees swarming for the attack early on, then becoming a chugging, sneering, incongruous mountain of a beast, with its deep, snarling vocals and paranoia-inducing drumming. 'Ascended Masters' is a more straightforward mass of death metal brutality. 'Illusion Of Space And Time', with it's guttural vocals and riveting guitars, build and build into a massive uphill, breathtaking miasma. Fabio Silva, Nuno Costa and Ita dos Santos don't fuck around with their chosen selection of tracks.
Each song has its own voice and sound. The album's not just another set of rewriting the same riffs and breakdowns as many bands tend to do. For instance, 'Emptiness Defiled' slows it down a tad, while 'Omniverse' steadies things out. 'Xenoverse' is a mid-tempo track leading into a quicker-paced 'Nagas', ending the album with pure death metal...blood-encrusted, snakelike and pit-dwelling all rolled into one.
In a genre of bands who stagnate and wither to a final doom, ANNIHILATION have written eight tracks of new, fresh death metal while holding true to their roots. The future looks bright, especially with Sofia Silva marching the band in unknown, undiscovered directions.