Antiquus Scriptum - Ereshkigal - Before Our Passing... - (7.5/10)

Published on April 11, 2018

Tracklist:

  1. Antiquus Scriptum - Procemium - A Viking Belief
  2. Antiquus Scriptum - A Batalha De Al-Ashbounah (Ou Lixbona MCXLVII)
  3. Antiquus Scriptum - O Adamastor
  4. Antiquus Scriptum - Tempus Præteritus
  5. Ereshkigal - Intro
  6. Ereshkigal - Black Metal Storm
  7. Ereshkigal - Black Pentagram
  8. Ereshkigal - My Master
  9. Ereshkigal - Spells of Kur-Nu-Gia
  10. Ereshkigal - Too Old in Darkness
  11. Ereshkigal - Coldness
  12. Ereshkigal - Outro
  13. Ereshkigal - Ancient Queen (Emperor cover)

Genre:

Black / Folk

Label:

Wolfmond Production

Playing Time:

72:55

Country:

Mexico

Year:

2018

Website:

Visit page

Before Our Passing… brings two long running bands from different continents together for a lengthy split of (mostly) black metal. From Portugal, Antiquus Scriptum formed in 1998 and has been the brainchild of mulit-instrumentalist/vocalist Sacerdos Magus. The project, as of this writing, has six full lengths, three demos, seven compilations (plus a cassette boxed set), in addition to this release being the eighth split. Ereshkigal, from Mexico, has been active since 1993, and has released nine full lengths, two compilations, a demo, and four splits. So both bands have been remarkably active throughout their careers.

 

 

 

The split starts out with four tracks from Antiquus Scriptum. Interestingly, these tracks were originally released on the band’s 2008 full length, Immortalis Factuus (though the full length has eleven tracks). Though the songs were previously released, the opener, “Procemium / A Viking Belief”, is one of the band’s strongest (and longest) tracks to date. The tracks move through varying paces of black/viking/folk metal with a bit of a progressive flair. The riffing is often a bit thrashy, with a touch of first wave styling, backed by airy keys and folk movements. It’s grandiose and epic, yet it’s still raw and destructive black metal at its core.

Ereshkigal takes a more straight forward approach with their nine tracks, which were previously released as Black Metal Storm in 2012, the band’s fifth full length album. Raw and cold, Ereshkigal’s music is firmly rooted in the second wave. It’s fast and fiery, full of blasts and raging tremolo riffing, though the band is able to weave a fair amount of melody into the riffs. Those familiar with the band’s earlier work will notice just how far the band had distanced themselves from the black ‘n’ roll elements of their earlier work, as these tracks are just mostly trem-driven intensity. It’s honestly surprising that Ereshkigal isn’t more well known in the black metal community. The band also does a really cool Emperor cover to close things out, which doesn’t stray very far from the original (and also helps show just how rooted in the second wave the band really are).

Before Our Passing… is available as a limited CD through Wolfmond Productions. Though the music from both bands is quite strong, this release mostly serves as a collector’s item for completionists. All of the tracks were previously available elsewhere, so unless you’re new to both bands or want everything they’ve released, the split basically serves as a clever repackaging. That being said, the music is certainly well worth your time. Antiquus Scriptum delivers some top notch, progressively-tinged black/folk metal tunes while Ereshkigal’s approach is a highly competent take on no frills second wave black metal. So, collectors and those new to the bands might want to grab this before it’s gone, but those well versed in both bands should have already heard what’s here.

Shawn Miller

Author: Shawn Miller

Scraping the bottom of the barrel since 1983, Shawn Miller is a heavy metal enthusiast living in the not-so-far reaches of Central PA. He is The Metal Observer's resident purveyor of the blackened, the foul and the filthy.

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