Antaeus

Antaeus

Cut Your Flesh and Worship Satan

Baphomet

I really wanted to love this — truly, I did. With its darkly abstract and elegant packaging, as well as its ridiculously over-the-top title (i.e., everyone’s stereotype of black metal), Antaeus’ Cut Your Flesh and Worship Satan initially struck this writer as a promising piece of black metal; then came the actual music. Sure, this is all sounding like the worst possible setup for some truly horrid music, which Antaeus certainly is not — they’re just not the adrenaline shot to the black-metal scene I was expecting. That said, Antaeus go for an early ’90s Norse attack, with sprays of blastbeaten sequences being fired from every direction, riffs sticking to the cold, frosty, and simple route all the while, vocals similarly being belched n’ wretched atop a fittingly crusty production (but nowhere’s near the AM radio static of Darkthrone’s Transylvanian Hunger, natch — after all, this ain’t a fookin’ demo!). An odd (uncharacteristic?) move, but one giving Cut Your Flesh a bit more character, Antaeus scrape out some between-song banter that’s near-harrowing, at times recalling Burzum’s earlier (i.e., pre-prison) ambient experiments, Beherit’s pre-industrial-makeover dementia or, more recently, Gorgoroth’s soundscapes on Incipit Satan. Still, Cut Your Flesh just ain’t the most devastatingly fresh of un-fresh sounds guaranteed to balance out all the keyboard-drenched tripe passing for “modern” black metal these days, but trouble’s sure a-brewin’ in the abyss, baby.

Baphomet, P.O. Box 14815, Fremont, CA 94539-4815 http://www.necropolisrec.com

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