Anorexia Nervosa

Redemption Process

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France's brilliantly named Anorexia Nervosa obviously hold the symphonic triumphs of Norwegians Dimmu Borgir in the highest regard, and they proceed to emulate them almost to a "T" on their fourth album, 2004's Redemption Process. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, for, if obvious and pervasive influence can be temporarily ignored, there's no denying the group's formidable talents with this very demanding heavy metal subgenre (where composition alone almost requires a degree in music theory from the Sorbonne). To wit, early album offerings like "The Shining" and "Antiferno" pay instant dividends for the symphonic black metal faithful, their lush and accomplished orchestral arrangements crammed so seamlessly into the raging black metal flurry below, that a dizzying Wall of Sound of near-impenetrable, but positively dazzling, nature is raised tall. Tentative tricks are subsequently inserted to spice up the similarly inexorable remaining tracks (a nifty bit of French lyrics in "Worship Manifesto," the basso recitals and chorales in "The Sacrament"), which arguably reach their aggressive zenith on the absolutely decapitating "An Amen." But major kudos for honest-to-goodness originality can only really be awarded to the memorable gothic overtones of "Sister September," and the greater dynamic diversity of "Codex Veritas." Which brings us back to the same pre-asserted fact that Anorexia Nervosa are still beholden to Borgir's earlier achievements, but that doesn't mean they're not among the best at what they do.

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