Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Antestor - Martyrium (1994)


Genre: Death/Black Metal
Country: Norway

Antestor are best known as probably the only Christian black metal band that's even remotely decent, but I think that later-era sound doesn't even hold a candle to this record. Martyrium is their debut, and rather than the progressive/melodic black metal of their later era we are instead met with a slow, doomy blend of black and death metal that is on point in all regards. I'm pleased that the album chooses to riff for what seems like forever, because there are swirling melodies like those on "Depressed" or OSDM homage like those on "Materialistic Lie" or even some mournful dirges on the instrumental title track. It's got this raw production that somehow brings out a lot of the drumming in a very natural way, especially in regards to to the cymbals and bass kicks. The only real downside are some clean vocals that come off as pretty lame. This basically mourns harder than any record I've heard in the past several months and deserves a listen even if you hate their newer stuff. This is way, way more raw and had I not told you it was Antestor you'd have no fucking idea this is Jesus-praising extreme metal.

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