‘Life-Related Symptoms’ is the second studio album from alternative metal quartet ANEWRAGE. The band have been working hard in recent years to make a name for themselves in their native Italy, touring with multiple bands. With this album they say they have tried to avoid sticking to one narrow genre, instead encompassing a variety of influences.
Strong opener Upside Down has a catchy hook which distinctly grabs the listener’s attention and focuses it on the animated beat of the chorus. This tune subsequently remains on repeat like some undying melodic poltergeist in one’s head for some substantial time afterwards. Dancefloor produces a similarly dominating chorus, this time because of the raw, soulful feel of the vocals coupled with the stirring repetition of lines. Vocal ability is also showcased within Floating Man, seamlessly shifting from wistful, gentle verses to powerful, rapturous choruses. The explosion of drum power and guitar riffs emphasises this change. Insight and Wolves and Sirens more clearly display the variation in the band’s influences, both leaning towards hard rock rather than just metal. This is not where ANEWRAGE draw the line, however. The haunting Life Is You precedes grunge-tinted Outside, the latter having distortions and a harmony of melodic voices which form a particularly melancholic effect. There’s even a theatrical twist near the end; Clockwork Therapy with its electronic, dark intro and menacing ticking sound mix with the slow beat for an ominous aura. It produces hints of industrial as well as even orchestral music to create a song which certainly stands out from the rest.
This is an album which shows extensively varied influences, put together in a way which pleases the senses. A few of the remaining songs could do with better hooks to make it a truly great album, but as it stands it is certainly impressive.
Listen to: Upside Down and Clockwork Therapy