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Several year-end lists for 2012, and various reviews, called the material on this split the best Canadian output if the year, trumping even the ever-popular Revenge. Along with the blinding eponymous debut by Paroxsihzem I'd have to agree it is the kream of the kvlt krop. Certainly the best split of the year. No prisoners are taken. It's one of those mandatory, specially recorded, no-bullshit split albums where each band makes every effort to dominate and conquer.
Nuclear War Now! Productions had a press release last year in which they coined the word 'vortextural', on reference to some band I can't remember right now. That seems to sum up Adversarial's side of the split (dubbed "Leviathan") very nicely. Their previous output has been solid, with the EP Prophetic Plain of Abyssal Revelation (containing their demo Thralls) in particular marking them as a significant force in untempered death metal fury, but the three songs here, which I have listened to countless times, have made them a band I will follow slavishly from now on. The booming and ominous bass noise and chaotic yet highly technical guitars create a dissonant, raging current that threatens to swallow all light.
Aptly, their first contribution is named 'Swirling Chaos that Swallows Horizons'. From the beautifully atmospheric ambience of its opening, to the raging and precise machinations of guitarist (also vocalist) C.S., the song immediately outstrips previous efforts with a bowel-churning depth and striking instrumental talent shown. Gurning, rough low growls, shattering drumming and thoughtful pacing enhance this abrasive brute force. Speaking of the drumming, no longer does the snare drum suffer from the overwhelming pong-pong-pong that, for some, might have spoilt other detonations by the outfit. The production is ideal, the best they've had, allowing me to marvel erectly at their abilities.
'Into The Waning of Twilight's Death Ocean' manifests esoteric and enveloping moments of dissonant melody and atmosphere, in keeping with the overall theme and concept of the split entire. The conclusion of 'Spiraling Towards the Ultimate End' is ascendant, amorphous and amoral melodic noise, a flash of true earworm genius revealing the musical aptitude of these fucks to those who still haven't figured out how good they are from the denser riffing apparent.
The whole CD or LP or whatever you have links up brilliantly not just in overall concept but musically too, the two bands moving through different moods and playing off one another with a better sense of cohesion than most single bands have within their own sound, let alone in tandem with someone else's. (seriously what are these Canadian bastards drinking) Antediluvian (side "Lucifer") pick up right where Adversarial left off, wielding very tight blasts and the far deeper trademark growls of Haasiophis. There's a sort of bass-plucking weirdness that breaks the song at one point; bracketed on either side by blasts of ferocity pretty much unprecedented in Antediluvian's catalogue of EPs and splits. The full-length debut, I am not sure, I haven't heard the fucking thing. At any rate, the threatening and morose ambience continues to define the split.
With the second song, the wonderfully named 'Dissolution Spires', the Albertan monsters cycle jerkily between short blasts and earthy death doom, summoning a more sepulchral tone in common with stuff I have heard. Less propulsive than the first song they uttered, and in keeping with the material I've experienced from them, they follow their adversaries (bahahaha, fuck me) on this split by invoking darker and darker atmospheres throughout the sick pilgrimage undertaken. So the (again, brilliantly titled) 'Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh (I Am That I Am)' runs the gamut and back from merciless pounding to truly massive, funereal death doom. And their drummer really shows off his chops here, his rolls and double bass abuses are amazing.
Adversarial is clearly the star of this split, and although I still prefer the heaving aural sepulchres intoned by the likes of Impetuous Ritual, Grave Miasma and last year's Muknal debut, Antediluvian are no doubt among those heavyweights even if they are not the best of them. And this here is stunning material, on the back of which I will be investigating their album about the Cervix and which will hopefully pre-empt more full-lengths or at least further EPs that will send them steaming further up in my esteem. Nuclear War Now! continue to dominate and define the filthier end of the death metal spectrum, proving why they are surrounded by such admiration and mythos by continuing to release beautifully well executed slabs of nasty such as this. Not one second wasted by either band. Flawless. Essential. Fuck.
Word has it that Adversarial are soon due to release a new split with that fantastic band Imposer. I can't fucken wait. Let the barbaric grave open once more, and again and again.
Sometimes life is filled so many good things, it's hard not to take all of it for granted. Eventually, it all becomes a blur, and our instant access to the vast bounties of information and entertainment obscure the little things that make life worth schlubbing through. Little things like, oh, for example, a mega split featuring two of death metal's defining and original acts unleashing sonic devastation and plague-ridden winds of the occult onto your undeserving and worthless ass.
I try to live for the little things.
Initiated in Impiety as Mysteries is a culmination of destruction unlike just about anything you have heard. Both Adversarial and Antediluvian bring their A+ + material here; Adversarial, a weapon of mass destruction and unholy fire, and Antediluvian, a cryptic curse of malevolent evil echoed amongst the ruins, have evolved well past many, if not all, of their peers and become something truly diabolical and wicked. In truth, this split is slightly more important for Adversarial overall, but this harbinger brings forth the Word of two evils with equal vigor and violence. Initiated in Impiety as Mysteries is not only essential, it's required in this modern age of death metal where merely imitating other bands is sufficient for success.
Adversarial start of this split, and this was the side I was easily the most excited for. The bands debut LP, All Idols Fall Before the Hammer, was to me a disappointing masterpiece. It was an album that was brutal beyond words yet as dynamic, intense and intelligent as any death metal album in history. It also featured a production which would have killed a lesser album for this reviewer, and made it impossible for others to enjoy. Between the non-existent vocals, the weak guitar tone and the utterly ruthless ping-holocaust of the snare drum, All Idols Fall Before the Hammer featured a barrier for entry that kept it from the recognition it, and the band, deserved. Production will not be an issue for those that listen to Initiated in Impiety as Mysteries, as Adversarial's side of the split, titled "Leviathan," features the best produced material the band has released. The guitars and bass whirl and twist in the vortex, forming a swirling mass of black matter that blots out all light, while the guttural machinations of vocalist Carlos are not lost in the mist but proudly and freakishly inhuman. And yes, they fixed the snare sound, a triumph even the most masochistic of us can be happy about. This isn't just the best produced Adversarial material though. This is the best Adversarial material period. Even the brilliance of All Idols Fall Before the Hammer pales in comparison to the inhuman feats of bestial guitar wizardry and supersonic percussion on display here. Their exact sound is (thankfully) difficult to shoehorn into one genre or another. We hear some Incantation, Blasphemy, Demilich, Angelcorpse and Immolation, but it all feels fluid and organic. Adversarial are playing with demoniacal fire of their own design, walking a mythical and dangerous path that few have ever tread. The bands technicality may not jump right out at you, but multiple listens reveal deeply entrenched complexity and inhuman precision. Discordant riffs and tight, precise drum work drives each track through their serpentine paths of unhallowed entrancement. "Spiraling Towards the Ultimate End" is particular stands out, not only as the best track on the split, but as one of the best death metal songs I've ever heard. Equal parts haunting and brutal, the track deftly jumps from slaughter to introspective dissonance, and the two minutes or so of the track will leave you feeling cold and dead inside... and I mean that in the best way possible. With this track alone, Adversarial have ascended, or descended, into true hellish preponderance.
Antediluvian really didn't need this split as much as Adversarial needed it to announce their grand declarations of genocide. The bands brilliant debut, last years Through the Cervix of Hawaah, was more then enough to put Antediluvian amongst the elite purveyors of death. That doesn't mean the band didn't try to out-do themselves again on Initiated in Impiety as Mysteries; the bands side of the split, entitled "Lucifer," is an masters-course on occult ritual and demonic influence via sound waves. Various personal additions have obviously added to the bands improved technical chops, which are leaps and bounds from their early, underwhelming demo material, but it's the song-writing here that stands out most. Antediluvian take over-used terms like "occult," "creepy," and "evil" much more seriously then many of their peers, and seek to develop them in new ways that isn't "doing it like Autopsy/Incantation/Entombed" did it. Sure, their sound is informed by the past, with such influences as Incantation, Imprecation and Beheirt coming through quite clearly. Yet much like Adversarial, Antediluvian have created their own sick rituals of sacrifice and malice, not merely stolen others. The skin-crawling dissonance of "Dissolution Spires" or the suffocating, rhythmically intense miasma of "Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh(I Am That I Am)" are unlike anything I've heard in death metal before: familiar yet alien.
I think it might be obvious which side this particular reviewer prefers. I take nothing away from Antediluvian here: this band is clearly working on a different level from most of their peers, even in the brilliant Canadian death metal scene. Their twisted, deformed nightmares are impressive beyond words and deserving of endless accolades. But something about Adversarial, really since I first heard All Idols Fall Before the Hammer(well, the first time I heard it. My first listen was spent mostly cringing) speaks to me on a deeper level. Their incredible mix of pure technical prowess and atmospheric, emotional detail is without a doubt something to behold in terror and adulation. To see these two bands working like this to bring down all we thought we knew about death metal, it's equal parts unsettling and exhilirating to think what the future might hold. What can we, as mere mortals, do in the face of such an all encompassing artistic realization of evil?
I don't think we stand a chance.
originally posted at http://curseofthegreatwhiteelephant.blogspot.com/
Because I’m relatively new to the modern metal scene, there has not been many releases that I felt excited about so far, but I can see that the tide is definitely changing. Nuclear War Now! Productions have an incredible roster, consisting of bands which mainly devote themselves to the darker aesthetics of death metal, and in the near past, bands like Weregoat or Wrathprayer have clutched me with their woeful hooks and pulled me down into abysmal and fathomless pits, fuelled by constant anger and fury, and their most recent offering, a two way split played by two of the most deadly Canadian bands has crashed onto my shore, and the moment I saw which bands were making it up, I literally felt a warm, sublime wetness in my pants.
Antediluvian and Adversarial are two very cunning black/death acts that have proved themselves in the year 2011 more than many people would have really expected. While Adversarial’s ‘’All Idols Fall Before The Hammer’’ was speedy train full of airy confessions of splintering death metal, juicy, carnal and ultimately destructive, ‘’Through The Cervix Of Hawaah’’ was a strong redolent of Portal and Impetuous Ritual, yet, it was still much praised for its eerie and corrupted nature, bettering the listener into crumbling bits with the drowsy grooves of a darkened pendulum swing, slowly exterminating and vomiting relentless evil. Both bring the best of their sound to the table and join them under one banner, deviating little from their previous style, on this split.
The first half of the split belongs to Adversarial, spewing forth three hymns of malicious evil and completely perplexing speed, utterly frenzied and eruptive. Both bands play their own distinct style of naturally evil-bred death metal, but because they grasp the largely consuming notion in a way that they make almost tangible, both their formulas somehow crash and cross at some point, and with half the product belonging to Adversarial and half of it belonging to Antediluvian, you get a much saturating portion of each band’s inventive style of presenting cantankerous evil. Adversarial’s material flows much more viscously than the other half, as the band unleashes a devastating barrage of gritty energetic and simply pulverizing riffs, overflowing with catchiness and cosmic reverb drenched horror. The super fast discharge of riffs follow each other like a spiralling vortex of brutal terror, streaming to the surface at some point, yet still keeping its existence robust in underground territory, and the mass exploitation of inhuman snarls and constantly grinding tremolos are supported by both a crispy production that allows the cathartic vigor to replenish itself repeatedly and a massive, beat laden pursuit, attached to the riffs, culminating devastation and monstrosity as the train passes. Adversarial’s side of the split, ‘’Leviathan’’, is simply cunning, razor sharp and laden with terrifically composed queer chord sequences, summing to be a most efficient collection of three songs.
Antediluvian’s side of the split, which is the actual reason I came here, is a direct delivery of what was in ‘’Through The Cervix Of Hawaah’’, an oppressive, inconsistent and non-accessible cloud of sickening blasphemy, a shower of constantly diffusing gobs of shadowed evil. Constant buzzing and crushing evil is what dominates ‘’Lucifer’’, their side of the split, and yet, in a way, Antediluvian’s brand of suffocating blackened death metal, is just as effective as Adversarial’s, despite the extremely slow passages blocking some of their cunning and shrewd usage of evil putting them a back the second half. Either way, this split is no competition, only and intense and suspense expression of unholy evil. One thing that really makes Antediluvian’s music a traumatizing experience is that they like to slightly experiment with even more bizarre techniques, and in the end each song possesses a cloudy aura of cosmic reverb and befouling bleakness. Each song is encompassed by megalithic columns of depressive aura which is just as pungent as the evil one, and believe me, Antediluvian thrive the atmosphere present and the atmosphere develops in to something utterly inhuman, and there are truly very few band which can manage to do such wonders with atmosphere.‘’Force Of Suns Of Adversary’’ is simply an excellent beginning for ‘’Lucifer’’ swaying and swaggering in mid paced tempos, dancing ponderously around a pitch-black pyre, while the next track, ‘’Dissolution Spires’’ expands the atmosphere and draws the listener into a more spacious ground, and spurting out a vicious cluster of rapid riffs, but the true Magnum Opus of the B side of the split is ‘’Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh (I Am That I Am)’’, a repulsive, intensified and inhumating lump of inundating density, swallows you and sucks you in with its vacuum like hole, opening the gates to a void of ethereal darkness within mere seconds.
‘’Initiated In Impiety As Mysteries’’ lives up for its name in every way possible. It’s the most intricate and explosive expression of impious inhumanity, for such an incredible release, it would be best if we granted merits and accolades to the band, as it is the best thing we can do. Adversarial resembles the sheer complexity and mind boggling prowess of impiety, while Antediluvian, which appealed to me more than its peer, is the dark, shallow and bleak overtone of mystery, an abysmal aspect, camouflaged as something almost entirely different. Simply put, this split is one of the best black/death releases the year has offered so far, and in such profane glory against all things orthodox and holy, it’s impossible not to lose yourself in what these two hellhound’s have created; a bleak void of evil, absolutely grasping and all-consuming.
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh (I Am That I Am)
Swirling Chaos That Swallows Horizons
Spiraling Towards the Ultimate End