Friday, January 11, 2013


The one thing that prevents me from enjoying most black metal is that I miss the invitation. What I mean by that is the ability to get ‘inside’ the music, where it resonates within you and it touches a part of you. Most times it’s because I can’t get past the wall of sound, hence ‘the invitation.’ I fail to discern the melody (if it exists) or the lyrical content is obscured by the delivery. 

Antestor’s (latin for ‘call to witness) newest album is entitled Omen, and the invitation is there for me in DROVES. Whether it’s the subtlety (yes there is subtlety) or the haunting melodies (yes there are many rather disturbing melodies) this release just has IT. I don’t own any other Antestor albums so I was rather suspect of what I might be in for. After all, I’ve heard nothing but the praises of prior releases but without the ability to obtain them short of selling my car I decided to pass on obtaining them. 

So when Matt from Bombworks asked if I wanted to review I said “Sure. NO problem!” all the while crossing my fingers hoping that this would be a good album.

With a strength and boldness that few albums have hit me with, Omen is just phenomenal. Powerful and daunting, this album delivers on so many levels. Whether it’s the triple guitar attack of Bordevik, Stokstad and Buer; the sheer power of the rich lyrical content (faithfulness, personal forgiveness, betrayal, healing, and idols) or the rich production. 

The axe attack is simply powerful, creating a threating yet not overpowering wall of sound. The melodies of tracks such as Remnants, along with the stellar dynamics and almost progressive quality just blew me away. All Towers Must Fall delivers a mesmerizing ode to the brevity of life, while moving through several dynamic musical interludes.  Album opener Treacherous Domain set the tone for the music to be found within. When In Solitude starts I just wonder, “How can anyone play the guitar that fast?” However the speed of the rhythm parts just fascinates but the when the keyboards enter it takes everything to another level. Atmospherics can never be understated. Benighted delivers several riffs that just dominate along with textures that are totally unexpected.  Antestor have dubbed their brand of music ‘sorrow metal.’

The production is solid with a drum sound that screams of investment and dedication. Too often the drums end up sounding as if someone is playing old pots and pans, that is far from the case here; rich and deep are the tones of the drums. The bass and six string guitars share space in the mix with plenty of power to entwine them both. The vocal sound is sheer brutality for the most part provided by Ronny Hansen, who delivery encompasses the meaning of the word extreme. However I was more than able to following along with the lyric sheet (that invitation again).

Omen is the album that fans of Antestor have been waiting for, complex, strong, dynamic and bombastic. Prepare yourself to be immersed in one of the most stirring albums of 2012/2013. Strong windmill action which leads one to give this release a huge endorsement. Bombworks Records has delivered a gem!

9 axes

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