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De Principii De Absolute Bullshit - 35%

Tomb_of_Cunt, November 4th, 2013

I appreciate any kind of extreme vocals filled with talent – from high-pitched screaming to growling to chanting...but I have a huge fucking problem when vocals sound like some demented fucking leprechaun that is vomiting in my ears. At first the vocals on this album sounded quite good, but when I got halfway through the second track, my irritation-levels got out of control. I went outside, smoked a cigarette and came back to listen further. On every track the vocals sound the same – exactly the same.

Then there are the guitars – on every track the riffs sound the same. There is no real variation. No improvisation and absolutely no originality. I cannot understand how this band can be labelled as black metal. Some people even call it “raw black metal”. Here and there are some moments where a bit of raw black metal comes through, but the music is smothered in brutal death metal with some influences of grindcore. The drums are basically just noise and mostly sound like something anybody can do. I must say that the samples that are used at the beginning of some tracks are quite good and manage to create some feeling of anxiety, but just as you think it’s going to become very intense, the levels of intensity are ripped apart by talentless musicians with impotent guitar-riffs and noise drumming.

There are some tracks on the album that are quite good. The title-track has some good moments, especially at the beginning of the track where the vocals and high-speed guitar-riffs seem to complement each other very well. But stuff like this becomes a problem if you do it over and over again with no originality that is coming through in order to make songs stand out like valuable monuments that can be listened to over and over again. Another track that stands out is “Blood War III” where there seems to be at least some variation of guitar-riffs (finally!), but I wouldn’t say that it is much different from the other tracks. There are some good moments, but once again it ends up as just another failed attempt that could have been done much better.

The album ends with a track that is basically 29 seconds long filled with guitar-riffs and drumming that sounds pretty much the same as all the other tracks. An epic fail, if you ask me.

Antaeus - De Principii Evangelikum - 99%

filthgrinding_scum, November 1st, 2012

Antaeus, a French black outfit hailing from just outside Paris have been knocking around for a fair amount of years now, however it wasn't until current lead singer MKM and Set united their ideas that they managed to perfect Antaeus as a beast; harsh, catastrophic in its sound and sickeningly visceral. A band that are constantly in a state of flux due to the constant disagreement between members to paraphrase a quote from MKM 'We hate each other, we can only come together once in a while to make music, normally, we can't stand each other', a band whose mantra has been 'I hope you die' for many years, you would hope for pure sickness, I can assure you, it is nothing but.

Their first outing 'Cut Your Flesh and Worship Satan' whilst very good was little more than a starting step in the journey this band would take. Normally an album title such as this sounds trite and contrived, until you press play and are assaulted with audial spite that you could never imagine.

De Principii Evangelikum is their sophomore release and possibly my favourite of their releases (although Blood Libels their 2006 follow-up is a close contender), this album saw them refine their ideals, sharpen their skills and hone their brand of insanity. To characterise this album in one word I would most likely pick 'harsh'. In my mind there is little more that characterises this album than supreme harshness, unbridled in its hateful ferocity it is the true epitome of all the malcontent that black metal wishes to embody.

Antaeus call their music 'Satanik Audio Violence' and it is obvious to see why, from the start of the drums at the intro, you can feel the menace building as it rips into Introvenal Call, the guitars, bass and drums hit you in such an overwhelming barrage it can be hard to listen to, like or enjoy; this is not music to relax to, it is pure sonic violence. Now I know lots of people use this kind of expression, 'it sounds like the legions of hell marching forward' 'it's the soundtrack to the apocalypse', blah, blah, fucking blah - Antaeus lays waste, there is little catchy about it, it is militant, it is fast and it is above all aggressive. The guitars constantly shift between barrages of chords, there are no 'nice' chord progressions, the bass follows suit of the guitars and the drums are a law unto themselves. The drumming on Antaeus records is naught like anything you've heard before, instead of keeping the beat the drummer plays riffs on the drums, extremely quick beats accentuated by fills then repeat, it gives the music this awesome unstoppable feeling, it leaves you no time to fall into place, it is merciless. To top off this fiendish show, we have, in my estimation, the best vocalist black metal has to offer MKM, he has such an intense depth, resonance and versatility to his voice that few people can match (he also does vocals for Aosoth), he has a vast range in his growls and is able to utilise his voice to its full extent all the time. People may draw comparisons between MKM and Arioch/Mortuus from Funeral Mist & Marduk and I would say that vocally he is the closest competitor for MKM but the unadulterated filth and disgust that MKM can espouse makes Arioch's vocals pale in comparison.

As with many French bands, in particular bands signed to Norma Evangelium Diaboli (a label that MKM helped start) the band are very strong ideologically and aesthetically, as can be witnessed by the intense and cryptic lyrics; referencing amongst different ideals, architecture, heroin abuse, Satanism and violence, coupled with the imagery that the band use throughout the booklet and on the cover (a church) with its dark red muted palette.

Quite frankly Antaeus don't care if you like their music, it's made to disgust and is filled with such venom that bands in the bestial scene can only so much as wish they had, this band has more credibility and veracity in their lyrics than nearly any black metal bands have, and ironically in some ways they are not even that black metal, the sound for album is very warm with leanings towards death metal but the feeling it evokes is undeniably black, and for that reason and many more it will constantly be on my replay list and one of my highest black metal releases ever. Hopefully they will manage to put out another opus yet.

Whilst painfully short at just under half an hour, it is all you need; each song is perfect, simple and horrible but personal favourites: Wormz on Day VI, Nave X Kathedral & Blood War III. Oh and for added punishment the outro is the same as the intro, so you can let it play nonstop seamlessly until your ears bleed.

(Originally written for baileysmmcreamy.blogspot.com)

Solid maelstrom attack on institutional religion - 80%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, January 9th, 2012

Antaeus write quite sophisticated lyrixs that revolve around traditional Christian repression of the self and the release of that self into Satanic embrace and presumably spiritual freedom and purification through self-mutilation. Indeed an earlier album the band released which some rate as Antaeus's best was quite explicit about its aims in its title "Cut Your Flesh and Worship Satan". The album under review is raw and brutal with a strong beefy sound, an emphasis on blast beats and militaristic guitar riffing, and deep vocals that stand out in the mix as opposed to most BM releases in which the singing usually fights to be heard above the maelstrom. The tracks are fast and short with clipped playing and the lyrics are usually straightforward and frank in their apocalyptic vision. Clocking in at just under 30 minutes, the album is best appreciated in its entiretly and the songs could be seen as chapters in the one epic as they pass very quickly in a blur.

The music is best described as a mixture of death metal and black metal: death metal comparisons can be made with respect to the rhythms and the emphasis on riffing at the expense of melody; on the other hand, the black metal influence is obvious in the blizzard-like barrage of strings and the lack of lead guitar melody lines. The overall impression is of a solid maelstrom attack of hate and loathing aimed at institutional religion and its propaganda that enjoins self-abasement, self-loathing, passivity and acceptance of a highly authoritarian hierarchy thirsting for power and influence and unwilling to accept responsibility for the psychological damage it inflicts on vulnerable people. It's interesting how black metal became a forum for debate about religion and philosophy in France and this inquiry might acccount for the fearsome reputation French black metal bands enjoy.

This review is adapted from one originally written for The Sound Projector in September 2005.

For the Sick, By the Sick - 85%

Villain, October 12th, 2007

Antaeus hope you die and they certainly know how to show it. Within the maelstrom of percussion, the ever-shifting barrage of riffs, and MkM's signature bark lies the essence of Antaeus: Violence. De Principii Evangelikum conjures images of suffering and destruction, all the while suffocating you with its constant vibe of urgency.

The production is thick and warm. It fits very well with the imagery and feel of the songs presented here. This is not a melodic, tremolo-picked affair. This is not for the faint of heart. This is music for the sick, by the sick; and the production values convey these intentions. And while it's certainly raw, you don't need a fancy pair of headphones to figure out what's going on.

This is not an album to dissect and analyze. All you need to know is that this is violent, punishing black metal worthy of your attention. Music like this is intended to be felt. Be warned, however. By the time these 28 minutes are up, you may also feel the need to dissect your own body and emotions.

Buy or die...or both, Antaeus wouldn't care.

Militant Black Metal - 87%

LordBelketraya, February 22nd, 2006

After hearing "De Principii Evangelikum" I was blown away by the extreme speed and blazing fast drums along with the demonic voice of MkM. One of (If not) the most important thing in this genre is to have a different or unique sound in which when its played on your computer, radio, etc is that the music is identifiable. The drums may be a bit repetitive throughout this album but are important to the sound of the band. Aside from Mkm's excellent voice the drums are what stands out to me when I hear an Antaeus album.

To me this is what makes them Antaeus and also the main reason why I call it Militant Black Metal, Marduk may be a more War Black Metal sound, the two send an urgent feel to their music but both being different at it as well.
This is a group that I instantly liked, the agression, technicality, demonic sound of MkM just caught my ears right away. Its music that makes you headbang immediately, a complete onslaught of awesome black metal thrown in your direction. If you like fast, raw, sick black metal this is for you