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Cult of Antiquity Reborn - 87%

TheSlayFer, November 18th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2019, Digital, Eisenwald

Switzerland’s “Helvetic Underground Committee” have been curating a fascinating and impressive crop of black and death metal bands, and their most recent band, formed by the members of Ungfell, no less is Ateiggär, and once again, the H.U.C., continue to deliver with yet another outstanding band.

As mentioned before, this band is a sister band/side project by the duo behind Ungfell, and instead of the folksy approach of that band, for Ateiggär, Fauth Temenkeel and Fauth Lantav have decided to make a throwback black metal mini album of pure second wave worship with their own flair and style. For starters, and most importantly, this band is a complete departure from the style found in the aforementioned Ungfell, both are distinct bands with a unique sound, the most telling sign is the vocal work of Fauth Temenkeel, he has switched his howling and wailing screeches from his other band for much more menacing and chilling growls that pay tribute to pioneers of the genre, his vocal work is a perfect departure and its foreboding intensity suits their new style perfectly, and as a seasoning to mix things up, there’s also added choirs and Temenkeel also adds shouts and howls to deathly effect in the songs.

Furthermore, the musicianship displayed is also very impressive, the guitar and drum work are the main highlights next to the vocals, Lantav and Temenkeel perfectly complement each other, the drums have the expected blast beats and double base melodies but at the same time, Lantav adds that little more spice and flair to the rhythm section by incorporating different drum patterns, some ominous and weirdly orchestral percussion for key moments and a seamless finesse that’s usually minimized on “trve kvlt” black metal, but make no mistake, Fauth Lantav has raw speed and aggression to spare, truly honoring the masters of black metal and he effortlessly switches between technical prowess and raw aggression. The guitar work displayed, again is a fitting tribute to the second wave, tremolo picking, shredding speed and wailing riffs but what makes it interesting and adds that extra layer of flavor is the more melodious and atmospheric side which are punctuated by the keyboards, the keyboard truly complete the very specific sound Ateiggär sought out to do, and its reinforced by the lyrics which eschew the satanic and occult leanings of the genre for astrology, ancient alchemy and the works of Johannes Kepler, all of these themes and concepts combined are what sells this EP’s sound, a throwback black metal style with subtle symphonic traits that evoke the mysteries of the cosmos and the stars, in a weird way this could be a space black metal EP but without the need to add industrial or overly progressive elements.

The final aspect to note here, is that for an EP, the length is just one song short of being a full length, all the songs clock between six and seven minute which make it a satisfying and worthwhile experience that isn’t rushed and it most definitely doesn’t drag, it’s the perfect length and it give the band enough time to flex and make an impression. The only negative is really a nitpick, the music here at times would sound eerily similar of early Emperor and Satyricon which isn’t in it of itself a bad thing, and the album isn’t completely derivative, far from it, the influence is just noticeable if you’re familiar with those bands and the band experiments with atmospherics and melody in a much more effective way that those bands did in their earlier days.

Overall, Ateiggär is nothing short of another triumph for both the H.U.C. and their label of choice Eisenwald and I’m beyond excited to see what these guys have in store next for this project. It keeps the fires of the black metal cult alive and it pushes the genre into new, and mysterious heights.

Best tracks: “Und d Korybante tanzed in Sturm”, “En Blinde namens Duracotus”, “De Dämon us Levania”.

Written for www.metalbite.com