Annotations of an Autopsy: II – Reign of Darkness

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Annotations of an Autopsy: II – Reign of Darkness
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Annotations of an Autopsy: II - The Reign of Darkness
Brutal Death Metal, Deathcore
Nuclear Blast Records, Siege of Amida Records
February 9th, 2010
Release length: 45:33
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It seems that just about all the well known leaders in the Deathcore movement have now officially changed their style up from a very promising Death Metal sound littered with inane breakdowns that do absolutely nothing for the music, to a more Brutal Death atmosphere with a “core” influence that works perfectly with it. Annotations Of An Autopsy have joined the ranks of bands that have gone through this very important change to create II: The Reign Of Darkness, a very heavy and respectable Brutal Death Metal and Deathcore release from a band that was highly dismissed by many as a “scene” band. But, just like all those who came before the Metal Gods with this change, the question is not whether they could pull of the change, but rather if they can make a solid album with this newly found maturity.

II: The Reign Of Darkness is perhaps the band’s best offering, as well as the farthest from their Deathcore roots. The album finds the band favoring the Death Metal style moreso with the only indications of any “core” aspects being in the breakdowns. However, much of the time the breakdowns are so well done that it just flows naturally with the music and seems almost as if there aren’t any at all in the first place, or, appear at the very end for a short amount of time, like on the track “Born Dead”. There are exceptions to this, however, like on the track “Catastrophic Hybridization” which is the most Deathcore track on here, using a very bland breakdown that simply doesn’t work well with the music like those utilized on practically every other track on this release. This song will also give you mixed emotions because it has some of the most intense drum work, a very nice guitar solo, but the song itself is as boring as “In Snakes I Bathe”.

The album does start off a bit slow, with the introduction track “And So it Begins…” being simply a beating heart that goes into the rather boring “In Snakes I Bathe”. The music on here only really starts to pick up once you hit “Bone Crown”, with exception to the aforementioned “Catastrophic Hybridization” and the decent instrumental track “VII: The Horror, The Destruction”, which paves the way for heavier and faster paced music on this release, instead of a much slower pace with riffs that listeners must have heard over and over again for years. This is also where the album starts to get interesting, at least vocally. “Bone Crown” has some great intensity but it’s the fast paced lyrics that really keep the intensity of the song up to match the music, and the slower lines during “Emptiness” that incorporate distorted whispering really add to the impact that the song has. But, sadly, the closer you get to the end of the album, the more the Deathcore influence pops up, and the more generic and bland it becomes. “Portrait of Souls” is a good song, but nothing too great and is rather forgetable after a while, and then you have “Cryogenica” which has more then one breakdown to it, and the first one is rather boring, while the second one is far better thanks to the blistering double bass kicks, but still nothing to go absolutely crazy over.

II: The Reign Of Darkness is not a bad album at all, but it has a few songs that are. Other then the four, possibly five that are bland or, in the case of the two “instrumental” tracks “And So it Begins…” and “VII: The Horror, The Destruction”, don’t contribute anything to the overall appeal of the album other then to eat up time, this release from Annotations Of An Autopsy is a very solid and well constructed effort. The maturing that the band is going throiugh really shows that they are pulling their act together and pushing forward with a more Death Metal sound, but at times cannot help but go back to their roots.

01. And So it Begins… – 1:09
02. In Snakes I Bathe – 3:51
03. Born Dead – 3:31
04. Bone Crown (featuring Erik Rutan) – 3:31
05. Emptiness – 4:11
06. Catastrophic Hybridization – 5:51
07. VII: The Horror, The Destruction… – 2:30
08. Impale the Sun – 3:54
09. Portrait of Souls – 3:33
10. Cryogenica – 5:09
11. Into the Black Slumber – 8:23
Overall Score: 5.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Siege of Amida Records via Earsplit PR.