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Appearing roughly midway through Acheron's career so far, Anti God, Anti Christ marked something of a turning point for the band. This is the first time they decided to integrate keyboards into the actual music, rather than relegating them to just the traditional intro tracks between each song. The intro's are, of course, still here (something which they seem to have given up after this disc), this time featuring numerous appropriate quotes from Friedrich Nietzche's "The Antichrist".
The subject matter, obviously, is mostly more anti-christian and slightly less traditional Satanic (LaVey issue) philosophy than usual, although "Baptism For Devlyn Alexandra" retains that aspect. The highlight here is definitely the first proper song, the anthemic "Fuck The Way Of Christ", followed by the closing cover of Non's "Total War".
The usual elements you'd expect from an Acheron release are all firmly in place here - midpaced catchy death metal driven by straightfoward drums (provided here by current band-whore extraordinaire Richard Christy, who delivers a much more subtle peformance than his more famous drum-wankery on his material with Death and Control Denied), and of course Vincent Crowley's rough barking vocals.
The guitar work is mostly quite simple until the lead breaks appear, at which point Michael Estes is free to burst out with some serious shredding solo work. And of course, there's the intro's. Some may argue that they're overdone, but they were a very large part of Acheron's charm, and it's somewhat saddening that the band no longer does this. Then again, if they weren't here, this would be considered an EP - it barely clocks 30 minutes, with only 4 original metal songs. It seems a bit lazy to me - surely they could have written a couple more. Not to worry, the material is solid enough to make for an enjoyable listen, and the lack of filler is a plus anyway.
Oh yeah, and there's a stupid bunch of silent tracks at the end of the CD, followed by a particularly worthless outro track. 10 points off point off for that little annoyance.
It seems that Acheron learned the lesson from "Rites of the Black Mass" and decided to make a record that is far more competent, but still, not without it's flaws. Like "Rites", half of the total number of tracks are composed of intros which, this time not as annoying, they are still extremely cheesy. Not that I have something against the fight between mankind and christianity, but you can do better for the overall effect. For instance, the intro before "Total War". Listen to the keys. Yikes.
Now, the good stuff. The first four songs (not counting the intros) are prime examples of atmospheric death metal. The guitar player finaly learned to equalize the rhythm guitar tone properly and it actually crushes instead of being wind-like. The keyboard parts are well made, too, and it serves for a haunting effect much like those on Nocturnus' "The Key". Again, the lead guitar work is top notch, with some really nice shredding without going down into excessive wanking, instead the use of nice melodies and fast, but coherent patterns make the songs even more interesting. The songs themselves follow a minimalistic approach at songwriting, with repetitive riffing, well complemented by the other instruments and specially the vocals, which carry the songs effectively. Lyrics may be a bit simple, but is the vocal delivery that counts, and it works well.
The exception to this is the final track "Total War". It's drum oriented, with a VERY repetitive marching pattern played by the snare, and some keys thrown for the ambience touch. Just filler material, IMO, therefore not recommended like the other tracks. It has it's moment, though, near the end when the vocals stop being silly and gain some strenght to them, for the final declaration.
Yep. Acheron learned the lesson. It isn't flawless, but, hey, it kills "Rites of the Black Mass", the record guilty of giving me a sour initial impression of this band. I'll be definitely checking some of their other shit. Highlighted songs: "Fuck the Ways of Christ", "Shemhamforash", "Blessed by Damnation", "Baptism for Devlyn Alexandra".