ANTHENORA – Soulgrinder

ANTHENORA - Soulgrinder
  • 8.5/10
    ANTHENORA - Soulgrinder - 8.5/10


My Graveyard Productions
Release date: September 30, 2006

User Review
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The two years between The Last Command and Soulgrinder only did well for Anthenora. With the completion of Soulgrinder’s recording and its release in 2006, listeners could see the small various changes within Anthenora’s approach to their music. The music became heavier and fiercer as its composers concentrated less on making their new release more 80s like as it was on the debut.

Soulgrinder delivers a well-done meld of Old and New School Heavy / Power Metal. The choosing of a rather more modernized sound made wonders for Anthenora. Furthermore, on Soulgrinder, unlike on the debut, the vocals by Luigi Bonansea are better. Therefore, when it comes to the music, Anthenora served themselves well. In addition to the new production and musical improvements, the band moved on and signed with a local label, My Graveyard Productions, instead of the Spanish / German label of Locomotive Records. This is the second part of Anthenora’s way points and it seems that 2006, on its whole, was a good year for the Italians.

As far as the material goes, it is pretty much the same as on The Last Command, the songs are chopping and crunching with the sense of Heavy / Power Metal. The themes did not change as well and that is the reason why WWII stories of valor and other fantasy epics are presented with pride and it won’t ever seem to change. When testing the overall production, it’s a different story, it looks as if Anthenora wanted to sound heavier and stronger on their new release, that is why they practiced their music, under the 80s roots, while introducing a modernized sound. The result is obvious, hard crunchy guitars with hints and moments of almost Thrash like and crude bass.

The compositions presented are fast and speedy as on their earlier material, yet there are tracks that put aside the speed piece and spread out, to a certain extent, to slightly slower tunes. Through these slow tempo demonstrations, you would find it easier to see how these guys progressed as they use modern, joined up with old influences. Alongside the instruments and the rhythms, there is the massive improvement in the vocal district. Luigi Bonansea has not progressed 100% with his accent problem, however he is much better with his singing in English as opposed to the debut. As the music got a lot heavier, his pattern became rather crooked and raspy. Moreover, he became relatively fluent and emotional with the lyrics and listeners will actually have the ability to recognize what he is singing about.

To be frank, it’s hard to understand if Soulgrinder is actually a semi-concept or a full concept album. The main story is about WWII and different views regarding that war while adding fantasy elements to it. However, all the songs are connected, in a way, to each other. It is hard to find that connection in order to get the full picture of the story at hand. Whoever seeks the idea of this concept might run into sorts of trouble and that is why it is better to leave it aside and concentrate on each song as a standalone feature.

Highlights: “Steel Brigade”, “Dream Catcher” (The chorus is a bit funny at first listen because of similar uses of words between the sentences, yet it is quite blasting afterwards), “Soulgrinder” (An almost Thrash Metal piece mixed with Power Metal, Bonansea is extra great on the vocals), “Cassandra”, “Hellish Fire” and “Dawn Of Blood”.

In the coming year Anthenora will release its third album, The Ghost of Iwo Jima, under the same label and it will be very interesting to see how they try and get the most out of the first two albums and improve themselves even more.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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