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Antestor is back with a full-length, finally! Begin 2003 they released the EP Det Tapte Liv, which wasn’t very much more than a teaser: 2 Black metal songs and 3 synth/piano tracks. Only the song Rites of Death from the EP is also to be found on this full-length, but in a different mix. Instead of the album kicking off immediately with screams, guitars and furious drums, it starts with female clean vocals by Ann-Mari Edvardsen, after that the Black metal starts. After this song comes Old Times Cruelty, a great song which was released earlier on the Come Armageddon B CD. After this come the songs I didn’t know yet, songs like Via Dolorosa, The Crown I Carry and The Return are among others absolute highlights on this album, and probably in the overall (Christian) Black metal scene.
Vrede (Ronny Hansen) is definitely one of the best Black metal vocalists at this moment: raw and haunting, yet understandable. Antestor has completely changed their sound. The Forsaken is nothing like The Return of the Black Death, and is completely incomparable to Martyrium. I think this is partly because of the change of line-up (a bigger influence from Vaakevandring. But still, Antestor sticks to their main goal: making atmospheric sorrowful Black metal. This is very recognisable on the instrumental Raade for example. And they succeeded at this, while being more extreme. Also new are the many guitarsolos by Bjørn Leren, also known for his solo on Jesus, Jesus, Var Du Hja Meg from the Despair demo.
The last song, before the ending instrumental Mitt Hjerte, is As I Die. A totally different song from the rest of the album. It’s suddenly a song with a much more Folk metal feeling, combined with Black metal. Than the album ends beautifully with the instrumental Mitt Hjerte, a slower song with synths and a nice guitarsolo.
Overall a good album, maybe not as legendary as Martyrium, but Antestor does prove to be one of the best Black metal bands at this time.