Anewrage - Life-Related SymptomsHey, you! Yeah, that’s right, I know you and your ilk, only scurrying out of your hatch for a new record if the music is heavier than a dying panda reading Sartre and the album is only available in limited release as sheet music stapled to the bathroom door in an abandoned hospital. Well, you better slink back to your cobweb-ridden hovel as Life-Related Symptoms by Anewrage is none of those things. In fact, with its clean, hook-ridden vocals and grungeternative instrumentation, it barely qualifies as metal at all. Still, AngryMetalGuy.com is a broad church, willing to embrace all manner of miscreants within our ample bosom. If Life-Related Symptoms isn’t strictly-speaking a brutal head-on collision of steel and entrails then at least it’s still a laudable sonic diversion, right?

As amusing as it would be to keep you on tenterhooks I’ll put you out of your misery and declare that Anewrage have delivered a fairly solid album in Life-Related Symptoms, albeit not one teeming with explosive power. The music is slick, admirably performed and brimming with professionalism. That this is the band’s second full-length release speaks volumes about the talent on display. A broad categorization would place these Italians alongside alternative/grunge groups like Soundgarden and Horsehead, only with a gentler tilt towards popular acceptance. “Upside Down” is a smooth, radio-friendly opener, overflowing with nods to Alice in Chains and the odd tip-of-the-hat to Bon Jovi with its country-rock guitar leanings. There are few rough edges on the album; the music, for the most part, is unfailingly agreeable, a pleasant distraction from life’s incessant hurdy-gurdy.

There is no doubt in my mind that this can be attributed to the incredibly impressive pipes of vocalist Axel Capurro. The man possesses a slightly grainy tone but it is commendably malleable and capable of a wide range. Underscored by satisfyingly substantive chords, “Tomorrow” displays Capurro in full-flight, his crystal clear voice carrying the song from verse-to-chorus and back again, mixing the best elements of Layne Staley and Silverchair’s Daniel Johns. The vocals resonate and get under your skin like a home-sick skeleton. “Outside” is a sombre, haunting cut that trades power for restraint, Capurro keeping things achingly simple with his emotionally charged but delicately low-key utterances. It would be reductive to say that the vocals are the dominant element of Life-Related Symptoms because they’re so much more than that, a critical, all-consuming binding agent. Somebody get Copernicus on the line because everything revolves around Capurro and not the sun.

Anewrage 2017

You can have too much of a good thing, however, as after a while, the overwrought, plaintive singing drifts from heart-clutchingly emotive to outright sappy. Ultimately this is a consequence of the overly mainstream bent of the music, a focus that leaves everything humming along in mid-gear while preventing the songs from developing real weight and impact. There are flashes of ire and spittle, like the off-kilter “Clockwork Therapy” or the surprising volatile breakdown of hoarse vocals and crushing riffs in “Evolution Circle” that’s more akin to something God Forbid would belt out but these are the exception rather than the rule. Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t a bad song on the album, but as it spans thirteen tracks the lack of bite invites numbness with increased exposure.

Anewrage are an enviously talented mob of musicians, possessed of a sound engineered to propel them towards bigger and better things. The music here is catchy, imminently listenable and polished to a reflective sheen, but not adventurous. It’s certainly enjoyable just not the sort of thing one would hear blaring from a Viking longboat as it descends upon a seaside hamlet. If you’re looking for the sort of eardrum-splitting filth designed wholly and solely to ruin an interfaith picnic then you best take your steel-capped boots elsewhere. For the rest of you seeking a distraction from Satan’s playlist, Life-Related Symptoms certainly makes for a fine bedfellow.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 160 kbps mp3
Label: Scarlet Records
Websites: anewrage.com | facebook.com/anewrage
Releases Worldwide: April 7th, 2017

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  • Diego Molero

    Honestly, I don’t hear what’s so great about the vocals. They aren’t bad by any means, but I don’t think they are bigger than the Sun either.
    As for the song itself, I think it’s way too forgettable.
    I’m ok with non-metal bands, but this is pretty meh in my opinion, of course.
    Good review though.

    • Sean Sky

      Dudes definitely got chops

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    I don’t know if maybe I somehow saw a snapshot from the music video prior to watching it but my instincts told me as soon as the music started that the singer would hold something other than a microphone and use it like a microphone at some point in the video. Soon as that lighting rod came out, I almost died. 2/10.

  • Thatguy

    Well. it’s a 3.0 if your talking about pop music.

  • PanzerFistDominatrix

    Look at the duck face on the guy on the far right…

    • “the guy”?
      Damn, how did you recognize it?

    • Nag Dammit

      Darn, pipped to the post. All that’s left for me to snidely snipe at are their longline t-shirts and pre-ripped, skinny jeans. Poseurs!

  • I’m confused. Things like these usually get 0.5 or 1.0 tops, + 80 sarcastic comments below. What did you smoke, TY?

    • Treble Yell

      I prefer the path less traveled.

  • Reese Burns

    I’m a fairly open minded person when it comes to music, I like to think. That being said, there really has been an awful lot of “post” metal, retro hard rock and stuff like this popping up lately. I really don’t wanna sound bitchy, since this is my favourite website, but I do get a bit nostalgic for the times when people complained that all you review is death metal…

    • You wot m8?

      Post metal is still metal. This is not.

    • Diego Molero

      I get what you’re saying, but honestly, I don’t think that we can “blame” this site. I mean, if bands do post-metal and hard rock and shitty music, then what is the site going to review then?
      They review what they get, that’s what I think at least.

  • Wilhelm

    Mentioning AIC in the same sentence as this lame ass band is nothing short of blasphemy.

  • You wot m8?

    I do love the occasional non-metal review, in fact I would go so far to say that they introduce some of the best stuff on the site. Stuff like Our Oceans or The Visit are a welcome break from the consistent BM and old-school DM reviews. That being said, this is hot garbage.

  • Mr T

    This is crap.

  • I think this is decent. The forced Chad Kroeger + Eddie Vedder vocals don’t do a lot for me, but the music is sort of fun. At least there’s some elements to it that I think are pretty interesting. I can’t think of another band that sounds just like this.

    I want to tell the singer to just sing in his natural voice and stop trying so hard.

  • madhare

    I think a “dying panda reading Sartre” would just be f*cking pretentious dead meat instead of heavy.

  • Anewrage butitsucks

  • EnslavedEld73

    I found that the video worked better for me if I cut the sound, opened a new tab and played the track off the Possession review from the other day. The upside down blonde girl was speaking to me in some subtle way….or maybe not. When does the new Solstafir come out?

  • Sophocles

    Upside down, inside out, this is by far the worst guitar tune of the decade…

  • Tofu muncher

    What is even alt-metal?