Sunday, April 22, 2018 02:39

Posts Tagged ‘Condemnation’

ANTAEUS – CONDEMNATION LP (Norma Evangelium Diaboli)

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

Antaeus - CondemnationA full decade on from ‘Blood Libels’, I had subconsciously given up on ever hearing another Antaeus full-length. Thus, it was a nice surprise to learn last year that a fourth album was imminent from one of France’s truly great Black Metal exports. And ‘Condemnation’ does not disappoint.

The aggression and violence and intensity of the attack may become somewhat monotonous at times but this is blasphemous, hateful Black Metal with fuck-all frills so a mostly-one-dimensional, pummeling blitzkrieg is only to be expected. The stale production works perfectly and the record proves that Antaeus are masters of their black craft.

Spellbinding, punishing stuff from two decorated veterans of the dark arts (aided by a rather excellent Portuguese session drummer of Lvcifyre, Enthroned and Nightbringer infamy, whose militaristic precision embellishes the attack magnificently), the album contains an occasional moment of restraint, offering scant mercy in the face of a skull-imploding barrage of buzzing Satanism.

Deliberately understated and un-grandiose, ‘Condemnation’ came across as somewhat subdued and uninspired upon initial listens, but I persevered with it and, fuck me sideways, was I richly rewarded or was I richly rewarded…

Simply immense.

Evilometer: 666/666

TEMPLE NIGHTSIDE – CONDEMNATION LP (Nuclear Winter Records / Dark Descent Records)

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Temple Nightside - CondemnationConsidering that Temple Nightside mastermind IV is the self-same entity behind such stellar BlackMetalReviews-endorsed forces as Ill Omen and Perdition Oracle, it was no surprise to me whatsoever to discover immediately upon receipt that ‘Condemnation’ is a fucking killer debut full-length of twisted, distorted harrowing Antipodean Black / Death Metal laced with more than a hint of dark dread / ambience.

With a little help from their colleagues in Vassafor and Grave Upheaval, IV and his Temple Nightside acolyte Basilysk (drums) have crafted eight cavernous, underground offerings that straddle the lesser-travelled ground between lo-fi black death, occult doom and infernal hell itself. The truly ritualistic music is driven by an undeniably evil energy and this is one of those records that holds up brilliantly to repeated listens. In fact, it seems to magically improve each time I give it a spin.

To seal the deal, the final is enclosed within a gatefold sleeve with an inlay sheet, all graced with some nice, minimal black and red artwork. My only complaint (and there’s invariably one, I know…) is that there’s no hint given as to which side of the record is which (unless I haven’t spotted the clues). No need for riddles; a simple ‘A’ printed on Side A would suffice.

Regardless, ‘Condemnation’ is a monstrous conjuration that should appeal to fans of any of the above-mentioned bands or of quality Black Metal in general. Not quite like anything else you will have heard, yet imbued with a comforting familiarity, the album is reassuringly cold and nihilistic, almost like a drugged, slowed-down version of Portal meets Blut Aus Nord. Barbaric; transcendental; tribal; different. Treat yourself to this mystical vision of spectral squalor.

Evilometer: 666/666