Annotations Of An Autopsy - Dark Days
Siege Of Amida
Deathcore
5 songs (23:56)
Release year: 2011
Siege Of Amida
Reviewed by Goat

Following up the surprisingly enjoyable II: Reign Of Darkness which took a significant step away from their Deathcore roots, Annotations Of An Autopsy have released this stopgap five-track EP which takes a significant step back towards said roots. Gang-shouts, breakdowns, mosh riffing and a music video notable for revealing how alarmingly skinny the drummer is in direct contrast to the meaty vocalist. I do enjoy this kind of music in small doses – the passion and down-to-earth brutality of hardcore is rarely beaten by the more escapist fantasies of metal. But, and this is a big but, for AOAA to leave the interesting path they were pursuing in favour of something which sounds like a slightly more intelligent Emmure is not something I’m going to praise. The record label themselves describe this as a mixture of the band’s early days and modern hardcore, and the suggested reference points of The Acacia Strain and Bury Your Dead should help sum this up (they also suggest Crowbar, hilariously).

Of the four original songs presented, none really move far from this. Opener Buried In A Bad Rep has sampled crowd noise and childlike ranting between the breakdowns, and the title track has some flashes of melody beneath the chug. I mentioned Emmure before, infamous for their lyrical obsession with Street Fighter, well, AOAA do one better by calling a song Reznov, I assume after the Call of Duty character. It’s a better track than the others, focusing more on the band’s typically skilled use of dynamics and even allowing a little atmosphere into the mix – although the focus is by far on the gang shouts and breakdowns.

The cherry on the cake is the fifth track, a cover of Machine Head’s Ten Ton Hammer. Of all the tracks from the groove metal titans the band could pick, it’s rather astonishing that they picked this, and even more astonishing that they make it work, giving the groove extra weight and adding hardcore fury to the verses. Apparently the band’s next album will be more of an overview of their career to date, suggesting greater death metal involvement – a good thing, as listening to Reign Of Darkness again it’s clear how much of a step down Dark Days has taken when it comes to songwriting. It’s a bit unfair to really compare them to Emmure, as AOAA are far heavier and grittier, but Dark Days is a disappointment nonetheless.

Killing Songs :
Reznov, Ten Ton Hammer
Goat quoted no quote
Other albums by Annotations Of An Autopsy that we have reviewed:
Annotations Of An Autopsy - II: The Reign Of Darkness reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
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