mark 8 / 10
One of my favorite Italian bands is back with its second full-length album. What does Anthenora A.D. 2006 bring us? To explain this in a good manner, I must make a time sequence between their "The General's Awakening" EP and this outing. The EP represented a fine heavy metal band with a good dose of its Iron Maiden tribute band past, but with a sound of their own nearly fully developed. Their debut "The Last Command" saw the band moving towards German power metal territories, while still attaining its own personal seal stamped all over it and coming up with a great product altogether. "Soulgrinder" marks Anthenora's further plunge into melodic power metal, but this shouldn't intimidate any of the fans of their previous releases because there are no indications these guys will become cheesy like some of their countrymen any time soon or ever. To make a proper comparison, I'll say that some darker and weirder tracks, "Dawn Of Blood' being a good example, remind me of mid 90's Rage, especially sound-wise. Although I have no problem with this, as I like Rage recordings from this period, songs like that are luckily in minority, because the strongest point of Anthenora's music in the past were faster heavy/power metal tracks that can also be found here as well. "Soulgrinder" is thus far the weakest release Anthenora have made, but this means that it's still heads above most of the albums released nowadays and still far, far from being average.