ANZILLU – Ex Nihilo

April 29, 2023, a year ago

(M-Theory Audio)

Nick Balazs

Rating: 6.5

review heavy metal ex nihilo

ANZILLU – Ex Nihilo

Snapped up by M-Theory Audio, Finnish thrashers strike with pummeling rhythms on their debut full-length Ex Nihlio. Formed in 2019, the band features ex-Inkvisitor member Jesse Kämäräinen on guitars. If you’re a complete thrash junkie, give those two records a look.

At a sharp nine tracks and 40 minutes, Anzillu comes forth with a death/thrash combo – with the drumming hitting on the extreme metal influences. Vocalist Teemu Kemppainen will make or break the experience for listeners as his high pitched squeals will be a turn off for some. At times it sounds odd, but there’s certainly a character to his voice – kind of like Municipal Waste’s Tony Foresta. That blood-curdling scream that introduces “Mental Graveyard” hits hard and is impressive.

Anzillu hit with topics on war, corruption, rebellion and these guys know how to play – “Mental Graveyard” straddles the line of extremity and thrash with its devilish riff and kick. This album has its best when it embraces the extreme side of the metal spectrum by incorporating blast beats, brash soloing, and when Kemppainen leans into the more guttural side of his voice. “The Cleansing Flame” succeeds at this while the psychedelic opening of “Splinter In The Mind’s Eye” ends up capturing the spirit of South Of Heaven-era Slayer. “Dauntless” takes a turn with a hardcore breakdown, which is not the greatest, but their desire to take chances is commendable.

“Trumpets Of War” could be a modern Exodus tune while “Vulture” packs 2.5 minute punch. Closer and title track opens up with some guitar technicality and takes a more experimental approach messing with technical thrash, doom and creating an atmosphere. An intriguing track, but is out of sorts and runs too long.

Anzillu is up to something here – they aren’t afraid to take chances; tighten the screws and dive into the death/black vibes and go from there. Ex Nihilo is a serviceable album and worth to check out; there’s potential here.

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