THE ANTICHRIST IMPERIUM
When I reviewed The Antichrist Imperium's debut album, Akercocke were no more and I remember saying that they would fill the void Akercocke left. Well, here we are in 2018 with album number two and Akercocke back together, with their last release only a year old. It feels great to have both bands active. They do have similarities in many aspects of their sound but there are enough differences to make them stand apart, as well. All I need to say really, though, is that if you enjoyed the first The Antichrist Imperium album (or are an Akercocke fan who have yet to discover them), you'll love this.
David Gray's prolific output in all of his bands is still showing immense quality and this latest album is no exception. Since receiving the album for review, it has been on constant play. As usual, there is so much to take in, especially as the song writing is so honed that their progressive tendencies seem to flow so effortlessly. Opening track ‘The Dreadful Hosanna’ is a prime example of how to open a metal album in 2018: fast and furious! There is no build up intro. Instead, you are thrust headlong into a classic Matt Wilcock (Abramelin, ex-Akercocke, ex-The Berzerker) blackened riff, powered by David Gray's relentless speedy drumming. This is a band that knows how to blast, but also has the ability to weave interesting progressive sections in their compositions.
The way the dual vocals (mainly death and clean) are used feels much more like they are there to enhance a damning Faustian tale of darkness and blasphemy rather than just a standard dual vocal formula, so kudos to Sam Bean and Samuel Loynes for their performances. We are taken on such a claustrophobic and fast musical journey of the damned, that by the time we reach a moment to draw breath, as ‘Liturgy of the Iconoclast/Blood Sacrifice’ starts, it feels like we've only been listening to the album for a couple of minutes.
The full sound of the album feels very organic, especially for the accomplished technical playing and modern sounding production. Based on their exemplary two album output, The Antichrist Imperium deserve your time if you love any aspect of the blackened death scene, or if you want a progressive band to take you on a journey with their songwriting. This is another strong entry into the extreme metal pantheon by some of the most exciting musicians creating this brand of progressive blackened death metal.
VOLUME II - EVERY TONGUE SHALL PRAISE SATAN
Review by Paul Sims
29th June 2018
1) The Dreadful Hosanna
2) Death Ritual
3) Draw Down the Moon
4) Liturgy of the Iconoclast / Blood Sacrifice
5) Ceremonail Suicide Rites
6) Golgothian Hieros Gamos
7) Sermon of Small Faith
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...another strong entry into the extreme metal pantheon by some of the most exciting musicians creating this brand of progressive blackened death metal."