The Antichrist Imperium – Volume III: Satan In His Original Glory
Release Date: 07/10/22
Running Time: 51:16
Review by Dark Juan
Ah, my dear hearts. I once more find myself on solid Satanic ground with this album. Hail Satan and burn the houses of all the false Gods to the ground and dance upon the ashes! Be rampant among the chaos. Love each other freely and without inhibition in the debris! Love is the law. Love under will. Do what thou wilt. Mrs Dark Juan has been consigned to bed as she is not in a good way and I have been told in no uncertain terms to fuck off and leave her alone for a bit, hence I have been dispatched downstairs. Therefore, the Headphones Of Doom, Insanity and Incipient Deafness have been clamped to the eagerly receptive lugholes of Dark Juan and I am considering this latest offering to Satan while she rests and recuperates. In the meantime, I am amusing the Smellhounds and grooving most mightily.
EDIT: This review was interrupted by my having to take Mrs Dark Juan somewhat urgently to hospital due to serious difficulties she was experiencing. You will all be pleased to hear that she is now back home and is suffering from a bout of COVID-19 that is absolutely no picnic. As of now, I am also. Fuck.
Composed of members of Akercocke, Voices, Werewolves and The Berzerker (two of my favourite bands are represented right there – my opinion that The Berzerker’s debut album being the most brutal record release ever is well known and frequently trumpeted to any poor fucker who is unfortunate enough to be within earshot) combining their extreme talents with a good old bit of worshipping the One True Lord of the Earth makes for something that’s so far up Dark Juan’s street it is seated opposite me in the Second Receiving Room at Dark Juan Terrace enjoying a brew and some chocolate oat biscuits. Satanic Death Metal is cruelly under-represented currently and The Antichrist Imperium are here to remind you that there are gonna be pitchforks up your ass unless you start paying attention to The Horned One, and this Hellpriest is thankfully mightily relieved to be able to start spreading the true gospel again…
Coming from a musical circle of hell that easily encompasses the sounds of Anaal Nathrakh, The Berzerker and Technical Death Metal and a little bit of prog (we do enjoy a bit of the avant-garde at Dark Juan Terrace), the first thing I notice about The Antichrist Imperium is that they have not entrusted the production of their opus to the local YTS trainee. The album has a competent and accessible sound that has benefitted mightily from not being recorded by a submariner using only his sonar receiver and a hand-held, battery operated tape recorder from some several hundred miles distant from the actual band, which was a particular bugbear of this listener with early BM. The sound is pin sharp in general, with only a slight woolliness around the cymbals, as they are a little too far back in the mix for these ears. This is indeed a minor gripe and the sound is otherwise top-notch Satan-pleasing.
The Antichrist Imperium bill themselves as avant-garde Death Metal and this is almost accurate, as some of the songs (‘Tu Verus Mundi Lucifer’) border on out and out Black Metal and this is a gloriously censer-waving, obsidian thing. The atavistic savagery of Black Metal combined with the gut-wrenching power of Death Metal is an intoxicating brew indeed. The twin vocals of Sam Bean (also playing bass and keyboards) and Samuel Loynes (also keyboards as well) offer a punishing mix of low end, concrete crushing grunting, a grating, grinding mid-range, high pitched, visceral screaming and almost choral clean singing and the arrangements of the songs are simply magnificent. Deep, complex and inventive, each song has several movements within them and these ebb and flow in a fluid and coherent fashion and add depths of shadow that especially Black Metal bands sometimes seem to lack.
‘Menage A Triumvirate’ is the most Death Metal song on the record, to my mind, as it starts off with a massively cosmic blast and just doesn’t slow down, even during the parts where the guitar work leaves behind hyperspeed chromatic riffing and instead leans towards the eerily progressive. Where the likes of ‘Third Degree Baptism’ are extremely avant-garde for Death Metal, ‘Menage’ reminds you that this band can destroy continents with ease. Things ease for all of forty seconds on the middle eight, where a Slayer-esque chord medley is noodled but then the power returns with all the force of being smacked across the Luciferian chops with the blastwave of a tactical nuclear weapon.
A coruscating lead line opens album closer ‘Misotheist’ that sweeps up and down the fretboard with no small infernal majesty before the song evokes thoughts of Fractal Generator and Sijjeel with a combination of complex, finger-wrecking riffing and outlandish speed making sure the listener is paying attention to the very last Satan-bothering second. Until three minutes and twenty seconds in, where there is a surprising and slightly odd synthwavey section that is destroyed in short order by the band stepping on the Satanic go-pedal once more.
It has to be said, considering that Dark Juan leans more towards the blacker end of things, that The Antichrist Imperium are a fucking superb band that has opened the eyes of this Hellpriest towards a whole new way of worshipping The One Who Walks Backwards. I was of the opinion that Death Metal and the Horned One don’t mix. I was wrong, and I feel that The Antichrist Imperium can take their rightful place in the pantheon of Coven, The Electric Hellfire Club and Ghost and all the others that favour the Questioner over the false prophet and his ineffectual God. An almost perfect ritual to bring forth the armies of Hell and give the Sally Army and their like a bloody good kick in the pants, and therefore to be recommended to all the hordes at my command! Do your bit to bring the world back to the One True Master of Mankind!
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards The Antichrist Imperium a supremely Satanic 9/10 for a record that hits all the right notes. One mark was deducted because the cymbals were too quiet and… well, that’s about it, really. This one’s an absolute banger from start to finish.
01. The Sweetest Juice
02. Vilest Of Beasts
03. Third Degree Baptism
04. Exorcist Evisceration
05. Chapel Of The Crippled Seed
06. Tu Verus Mundi Lucifer
07. Menage A Triumvirate
David Gray – Drums
Matt Wilcock – Guitars
Sam Bean – Vocals, keyboards, bass
Samuel Loynes – Vocals, keyboards
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.