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Riffs for days, including on Shabbos - 95%

nuklearkrieg, July 3rd, 2018
Written based on this version: 2018, CD, Invictus Productions

Spite is a one-man black metal band. The man behind the project goes by Salpsan, named for the mythological son of Satan. Salpsan resides in Brooklyn, NYC. The band is grounded by a strong anti-abrahamic / judeo-christian philosophy.

The first full-length offering from this band is unbelievably strong. There is, without exaggeration, not a single minute of filler on this whole album. Now, some artists can accomplish this level of content through droning atmospheres / endless repetition, but Salpsan doesn't roll this way. He instead dismantles the religious establishment with surgical precision. Dynamic, powerful riffs bombard the listener, one after another. Salpsan manically rants his blasphemous lyrics, sounding possessed at times. It's incredibly effective, and most importantly, infectious. Just when you think the songs wear out their welcome, it's on to the next one, and as I mentioned before, the dynamic songwriting doesn't give you time to get bored. Make no mistake, this isn't Ghost or some tongue-in-cheek pop metal. GBK without the idiotic racism? Sign me up.

The instrumentation is top-notch, and Salpsan does it all. Dynamic, skillful drumming, tight guitar work, bass riffs popping up and even standing alone for moments, and some of the most impassioned vocals in the genre (harsh vocals can be dramatic, dammit! Vary up that delivery, people). The guy is a true musician, not just a guitarist who learned how to do blast beats, and it's all executed so very well. Add a clear but organic production job to this material, and you have a fantastic listen.

Most importantly, the material on this disc is pretty fuggin evil. I'd be interested in learning more about Salpsan's inspirations. New York has a very entrenched ultra-orthodox Jewish population - perhaps this music is an answer to that culture? Regardless, I can't wait to see what's next for Salpsan. Very much looking forward to the next chapter in the Spite saga, and I hope that includes some live performances.

We're well beyond a lap dance - 80%

autothrall, February 5th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2018, CD, Invictus Productions

It seems like any and all bands associated in any way, past, present or future with the great Negative Plane infer some sort of inherent quality, even being as stylistically widespread as they are. From Occultation to Funereal Presence, you're getting some damned compelling material. New York's Spite might only share a brief, live connection with the above, but having also heard Salpsan's other project Horns & Hooves I was already aware the guy could brew some nasty black metal extract, and I am not at all let down by this slightly older project, seeing its first full-length through the esteemed Invictus Productions. Like Horns & Hooves, this carries a heavy influence from traditional black metal, but where that outlet little more frilly and speed-metal laced, Antimoshiac is perhaps a more direct line to the wretched sounds of forebears like Mayhem and Bathory in their 80s youth, with just the one musician rasping and playing all the instruments.

Not a lot of material here could be described as unique or nuanced in structure, but the surprise to me is that we've still got guys who can make such familiar patterns feel so cruel and fresh again, and that's really where this album works so well. The range is between mid and slightly faster black metal, driven heavily by dire tremolo picked melody, occasionally slathered in atmosphere from the higher strings being strung above the thundering drum kit. There's not a tune on the album that does not at some point sound exceedingly evil, and that's quite a feat in an age where we've heard it all so many bloody times that it's become almost mundane. Spite songs have vile verses that manage to escalate into more heightened 'chorus' like sequences where they just ramp up the majestic, melodic progressions that seem to climax alongside the snarling. Another key here is the sheer variety of what he's meting out, with no two songs that sound quite the same...the intricate little muted melodies that slink over the hammering bass-line depths of "The Shield of Abraham" sound little like the straight, venom spitting "Vision of the Merkabah" or the slower, steadily storming "False Magic" which could have been right at home in late 80s Bathory. No boredom through repetition whatsoever.

The production helps a lot, which I would consider perfect to go along with this very specific sound that Salpsan has devised. It's not your average necro-rawness, which many bands who chase this style thrive on. Instead, this is richer; fulfilling but not heavily processed or over-polished, never detracting from the constant vibe you get that a serpent is writhing up your shoulder and whispering ideas in your ear. Bass is sufficiently corpulent to support the rhythm guitars, which very often break away from thicker wall-of-sound chords and focus instead on classic, evil lines. I'd say these tremolo picked parts also draw some of their inspiration from ancient death metal circa the late 80s, they just have that ominous confidence to them, and some of the vocals get a little more gruesome to help accommodate this. This is ultimately a well constructed effort that reminds me so often of why I got into this style of music in the first place, and while you're not going to hear an evolution for the form, such could easily be achieved with a few dissonant tweaks, a few unexpected chords woven into the more conventional choices, a fraction more atmosphere. As it stands, though, Antimoshiac is a sinister delight on its own, and Salpsan's finest studio blasphemy to date.