Affliction, Endocrine... Vertigo

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France has never been considered a major country for metal. England and Germany are metal hotbeds, and the Scandinavian countries have been dominating the death metal/black metal field since the '90s. But when one thinks of metal in Western Europe, France is hardly the first place that comes to mind. Nonetheless, France is the home of noteworthy metal bands that include Blut Aus Nord and Hypnosis, as well as Overmars, a group that shows a great deal of promise on Affliction, Endocrine...Vertigo. This risk-taking CD is best described as alternative metal with elements of doom metal, industrial, goth rock, and death metal/black metal. While the growling, guttural, demonic-sounding vocal style that dominates Affliction, Endocrine...Vertigo is right out of death metal, Overmars do not play straight-up death metal in the usual Dark Funeral/In Aeternum/Triumphator sense. One can certainly say that death metal is an ingredient on Affliction, Endocrine...Vertigo -- at least from a vocal standpoint -- but it is by no means their only influence. Rather, Overmars use a variety of tasty ingredients on this CD, and their long list of direct or indirect influences includes, among others, Godflesh, Neurosis, Candiria, Nine Inch Nails, and Candlemass. For all its heaviness, Affliction, Endocrine...Vertigo is melodic and quite musical -- that is, musical in a totally dark, ominous, gloomy, brooding way. There is nothing even remotely cheerful about this 2005 release, which maintains an apocalyptic outlook from start to finish; no rays of sunlight enter the very cloudy place that Overmars call Affliction, Endocrine...Vertigo. Anyone who is seeking something inspired and risk-taking from alternative metal is advised to give this album a close listen.

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