|Review: Antaeus - Blood Libels|
Label: Norma Evangelium Diaboli
Year released: 2006
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: February 1, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Since forming in 1994, Antaeus have been kicking out some of the filthiest, sickest black metal to ever (dis)grace the ears of the metallers world-wide. This was a long awaiting release for me, as in my book, the name Antaeus is synonymous with sheer quality thanks to their past two albums blowing me away in the best way possible. Also, being suitably enamored with the taster track off their split vinyl with Malicious Secrets, I was left ravenous for more. However, nothing could prepare me for what I was to expect after putting this harmless looking CD into my stereo…
Starting with a slow building electronic introduction (similar to that infecting many a Red Harvest album), you're sitting there, waiting for the climatic first riff to erupt. But when it does - FUCK ME! It seriously takes your head off like a flying piece of sheet glass – Omen style. Never before have the band managed to capture such rage, such raw energetic aggression to disc. The entire album exudes pure, untamed hostility throughout the majority of its near three quarter of an hour run time, with guitars tearing like chainsaws through your gray matter, pounding bass (yes, this is no 'bass-less wonder' black metal album - turn up the sub-woofers on your stereo for the opening bomb blast at your own peril), and belligerently hammering drums turning bones to dust. All of this comes equipped with the sticky film-like vocal-work of the tormented MkM, who judging by this album, has become more mentally unstable than ever before, spraying lyrical excretion with each and every heaving exhalation. The aforementioned tomblike, bile filled vocals really top off what is an exceptionally disturbing piece of work, which for me, helps to add that extra dimension to the music, which many could (unjustifiably in my opinion) accuse of being just that little too relentless for many tastes, especially in the inexorable drumming department (just listen to some of the inhuman speeds reached on 'Colliding in Ashes' for example). The final track of the album is the title track, which strays from the rest of the album in the form of an entirely electronic track (not too far from the opening gambit in fact). It's not particularly a highlight of the album, but helps to calm traumatized nerves after the aural beating they've just received.
In conclusion, repeated listens will undoubtedly reap the greatest rewards, but this album willingly gives you the key to a sick mind, and taunts you remorselessly until you use it…
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|Review: Blood Libels (reviewed by Brett Buckle)|
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