|Anoxia - 'A Lapdance For The Devil' (Mighty Music)|
|Written by Matt Phelps|
|Friday, 07 May 2010 05:00|
My relationship with Anoxia's album 'A Lapdance For The Devil' got off to a shaky start to say the least. That's no fault of theirs though. As a man I am of course cursed with the trait of impatience and being so led to me casually scanning the accompanying press release looking for any select words that grabbed my attention. I settled on the holy trinity of 'Lars Frederikson - Vocals'. "Ideal" thought I, loading up the stereo and hitting play with my stiff little finger. Hmm, hardly surprisingly it turned out that there are two people in the world called Lars Frederiksen, and any ideas of mohawked punk rock were quickly out the window. I haven't been that let down since I bought all the seasons of Two And A Half Men only to find out there wasn't any UK Subs music included anywhere. Still, returning sheepishly to the discarded press release I discovered that Anoxia are in fact a bunch of Danish thrashers. Ideal again, I'm a big fan of Danish rashers so the addition of a simple TH could only make things even better.
Resetting to a thrash mode I start again and discover a band who have been knocking around since 2004 yet surprisingly find that 'A Lapdance For The Devil' is only their very first album. Now that is dedication to the cause. Having supported the likes of W.A.S.P and Krokus and even having appeared at the Bilbao Rock Festival they've proven they have the chops to cut it live alongside some pretty impressive names but have they delivered an album worthy of the promise they've shown so far? 'Cold Violence' bludgeons the first track home with a solid and speedy, yet not overly complicated way of doing things. Feelings of Blind Guardian are aroused. "Chaos in my life again!" provides the hook for the fabulously titled 'Risky On The Rocks' to reel me in, lyrics I can relate to get Anoxia growing on me more with each beat of the thundering drums.
But 'Lonely Ride' is where things really start to gel and is the spitting image of Megadeth circa 'Cryptic Writings'. If that's not David Ellefson pumping the bassline then somebody has cloned his hands. All throughout 'Lapdance' Allan Neilsen's basslines play a hugely important and pivitol supporting role just the same as Junior's did in days of old. Although largely hidden under the attention seeking guitars of his brother Claus and frontman Lars (who like his punk rock namesake also hammers a string or six) the bass, when it does show itself, reveals a surging backbone of steel running the entire unrelenting length of 'Lapdance'. In fact all throughout the album there are plenty of parallels that can be drawn with the Megadaves of the nineties. The whole sound of the album and quality of the song writing is far more thought out and is more akin to Megadeth's old "State Of The Art Speed Metal" tagline than just plain old "Thrash". In fact, this is exactly the type of thing I would guess most people would love Megadeth to actually be doing.
Musically 'A Lapdance For The Devil' is as precise as a 9 dart finish from Andy Fordham (Viking reference in there, geddit?) but there is just one place that a particularly dodgy lyric let's it down. Rather obviously it's during the title track itself that the culprit is found. Although it's essentially a song about flirting with danger no men should ever utter the words "and now WE lapdance for the devil." It does nothing but leave the listener with an unwanted image of Anoxia gyrating Alan Partridge style and expecting to see the names Hubbins, Tufnel and Smalls on the writing credits. With lyrical blips aside Anoxia save some of the best til last, it's tracks like 'Flowers On My Grave ', 'My Prison' and the sheer excellence of 'Hellbent For Heaven' that give real insight into what Anoxia are capable of; crunching, fast paced metal with guitar solos that positively sing their way out to you. While technical in essence there isn't an ounce of pretentious fretboard posturing present which leaves 'A Lapdance For The Devil' fully succeeding in keeping all of its creator's eight feet firmly on the ground. As it stands I'm really loving this album at the moment. 'A Lapdance For The Devil' may have a somewhat dubiously titled lead track but it's surrounded by some real quality gems shining with melody, power and outright thrash action. Just what the Doctor ordered. This one's a keeper!!!