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I'll admit, the first time I heard Deiphago's 'Filipino Antichrist' I wasn't really into it. I'd read about them in a magazine somewhere and found their album title amusing enough to check them out. Imagine the look on my face when I first put this CD in the player, having not heard a single note by them before! It was just too much for me at the time; the drums were too loud, the guitars were a mess and there appeared to be a complete absence of structure to the songs. The writer in the aforementioned magazine had made a big deal out of the brutality and chaos of Deiphago's music, but I'd assumed this was just hype; an excited writer exaggerating. I was wrong; this album was literally the most extreme thing I'd ever come across.
You're probably expecting me to go on to say that I gave the album more of a chance and that, upon repeated listens, it grew on me. That is not what happened. I put 'Filipino Antichrist' on a shelf and didn't listen to it for almost two years. I simply dismissed it as noisy garbage, the work of a band who'd taken the Venom philosophy way too far.
What can I say? A lot can happen in two years. I'd been listening to more and more bands described as 'war metal' or 'bestial black metal' (I don't care for either genre tag, but that's a rant for another day) and the name of Deiphago was popping up alongside bands like Conqueror and Revenge, who I'd become addicted to. Having had two years to recover from the aural battery of 'Filipino Antichrist', I decided to give it another shot. To my surprise, its impact had not lessened; it still utterly blew away every other album I'd ever heard, including those by the more extreme groups I'd been enjoying of late. However, this time I seemed to be able to make sense of the chaos. I realised Deiphago's music is not about the individual riffs or structural subtlety; it's about atmosphere and, crucially, energy.
Individual songs are difficult to distinguish, but there are standout moments; the opening section of 'Articles of Death’, the frantic chorus of 'Storming Chaos' and, most surprising of all, the melodic intro to the title track are among the highlights. The spirited rendition of Sarcofago's 'Hate' is also brilliant. This album however, is best listened to as a single entity, a twisted mass of char grilled wreckage. The description in the first paragraph is still accurate; this album is definitely not for everyone. It’s very noisy, very chaotic and utterly single-minded in its vision. Many are likely to hate it. However, those who enjoy their metal as chaotic and unhinged as possible will surely love this. A beautiful mess.
Wow. I think I just got run over by a high speed train. Then it backed up and did it again… And again… Apparently Deiphago have been around for 20 years, but this is my first exposure to them. When I saw the title Filipino Antichrist, I figured I was in for a hell of a ride; that's putting it mildly. Deiphago play some very brutal, chaotic and fast Black Metal that's cacophonic as hell – there's nothing remotely "pleasant" here, and it's perfect to empty your house if you think the party has lasted long enough. Gotta love it.
To the untrained ear, this sound like a fucking mess – there's no other way to put it. Even some seasoned extreme metal listeners will think this is too much. Completely insane vocals, ranging from barked screams to hellish, haunting screams that just rip through the speakers join in to make this musical onslaught even more demented. The outro reminds me a little bit of the "threatening" music when things are about to get nasty in the game Gears of War. Beautiful – and by a few million light years the most quiet thing on this album. Other than that, it's just a very fast amalgamation of guitars and drums that do not always feel like they're aware of each other, yet somehow they make it work. The production is rather raw and thin, and you'll have to pay attention to catch a few short solos here and there – they go by quickly and quietly amidst the incessant chaos.
Definitely not for everyone, Filipino Antichrist is the perfect soundtrack when you need to let off some steam. At 29:38 some will say it's a bit on the short side, but, really, could you survive more of this in one sitting?
Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com
Oh goodness me. How on Earth do I balance out the cries of the deep deep underground against the virtues of what I deem to be good taste? I will be disappointing one party just be writing this review because the noise that Filipino 'bestial' black metallers Deiphago dish out is so unrestrained and unhealthy all of you out there will hate it; yet great magazines like Zero Tolerance was recently awarded Deiphago with 'Album of the Issue'. Ultimately I will have to disappoint fabled underground warriors like the fervent Nathan T Birk of that glorious magazine and say what my heart feels: "Filipino Antichrist" is plainly ridiculous (and not in the good way either).
By making the forthcoming claims I am inviting the hatred of all those who worship at the Blasphemy and Sarcofago-spired altars of 'bestial black metal' - surely the most extreme faction of the black metal genre and therefore by rights, all of music. Yes one can see how this is almost good - it is so extreme, so OTT in it's attempts at saying 'fuck you' to everything that Voltaire 666, Sidapa and Devastator almost seem quite endearing to me. But let's be honest: "Filipino Antichrist" is crap. Mr Birk and others champions of this kind of metal may love it at first but I would be surprised if anyone could detract any long-term virtues from a record like this given any lack of depth underneath the assaulting barrage of drums and noise.
Save for the sampled intro and outro, the other 9 tracks bulldoze past in around 27 minutes leaving nothing standing in it's wake, pleasing only those who like to know that they are listening to the most extreme band on the face of the Earth. The sad fact is that all of the proper songs sound identical to each other - a haze of distorted screams, machine gun drumming and guitar sounds that are just a muddy blurr (no seriously, where are the riffs?!?). The few can argue to me day and night that this all sounds 'evil' and whatnot, and while it certainly sounds dark, any pretenses of evil simply cannot be gleaned when one cannot fathom what the fuck is going in amidst the racket of songs like "Christ Eater" and "Satan, Semen And Blood".
I bet Deiphago and their fellow bestial warriors will simply claim me as unworthy and not kvlt enough for "Filipino Antichrist" but really, there is a limit to what can be claimed as artistically successful even by BM standards, and that finished with Darkthrone's seminal "Transilvanian Hunger". With nothing approaching 'listenable' till the final proper track I am forced to rate the album on what can actually be discerned from the fetid explosion that is also known as "Filipino Antichrist", and that gives me very little opportunity indeed.
Originally written for Rockfreaks.net