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Blood Libels - Antaeus

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Genre: Hard Rock & Metal / Artist: Antaeus / Audio CD released 2007-06-04 at Noevidia/Season Of Mist

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      17.07.2009 11:45
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      Uncompromising dread-filled black metal with industrial overtones- excellent

      In the WWI film 'Regeneration', Dr William Rivers, a psychiatrist working at Craiglockhart War Hospital, a mental institute in Scotland, has on the wall behind his desk a painting depicting the mythological fight between Hercules and Antaeus. A Libyan giant and wrestler, Antaeus was supernaturally strong so long as he remained in contact with the ground, but once seperated from it his powers instantly evaporated. Rivers uses this picture to illustrate his personal and professional idea that being removed from one's natural environment into one that is wholly superficial is psychologically damaging, and that healing can be instigated by reintroducing individuals to the natural world and normal routine.

      French band Anteus's choice of monkier is wholly appropriate, their cold and relentless brand of black metal appearing to suggest that disconnection from our natural environment and immersion in the increasingly superficial and plastic modern world tends to foster feelings of increasing unhappiness ultimately culminating in all-encompassing nihilistric hatred. Or at least that's my interpretation- they may have just throught the name sounded cool.

      'Blood Libels' opens with an eerily-atmospheric industrial soundscape intro that would not sound out of place on an album by fellow countrymen Blut Aus Nord or Reverence, and this theme continues throughout the album in the form of background ambience and numerous ominous interludes. The songs on 'Blood Libels' consist of relentless barrrages of raw, fast and chaotic riffs similar in their ferocity and style to Anaal Nathrakh's early output. Its an intense and impenetrable sound, employing simple and repetitive riffs at break-neck speed to create a wall-of-sound effect, although there are enough chord changes and shifts in tempo to prevent things from getting stale or boring. The guitars are extremely prominent in the mix, whilst the drums are held very much at the back, consisting of simple blastbeats, cymbals, and repetitive, cavernous thudding. The drums are not programmed like Anaal Nathrakh's, but their mechanical and relentless nature makes them sound as if they could be. The vocals are quite low in the mix too, consisting of unsettling growls and chants.

      There's a fair bit of tremelo riffing evident throughout as well, giving the album a hint of Dissection/Watain, as well as affording it a strong feeling of underlying dread. The songs are not without variation, with the album sometimes settling into pounding, mid-paced grooves and passages of strangled melody, but the emphasis remains very much on cold and chaotic all-out blasting throughout. Its by no means an easy or comfortable listen, but then it was never supposed to be. The album closes with more weird industrial ambience, overlaid by a deranged-sounding and effects-heavy invocation, bringing things to an appropriately nightmarish close.

      'Blood Libels'is a raw, powerful and hugely atmospheric piece of black metal that will appeal to fans of Belphegor, Reign of Erebus and 'Codex Necro'-era Anaal Nathrakh in particular, and although the album will likely sound impenetrable to the causal listener it is definitely worth persevering with.

      Tracklisting-

      1. Rot 05:36
      2. Cyklik Torture 03:40
      3. Control and Abuse 05:34
      4. Colliding in Ashes 05:10
      5. Words as Weapons 06:27
      6. Here is Punishment 03:29
      7. Gates to the Outside 03:27
      8. Blood Libels 09:39

      Total playing time 43:02

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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 Rot
      2 Cyklic Torture
      3 Control and Abuse
      4 Colliding in Ashes
      5 Word as Weapons
      6 Here Is Punishement
      7 Gates to the Outside
      8 Blood Libels