Hades Archer - Slaughtbbath - Circus of Abominations / Antichristos Thanatos - (7/10)
Published on May 2, 2014
Hades Archer and Slaughtbbath are Chilean black metal bands that are firmly entrenched in the dirty and grimy South American style made famous by Sarcófago and Vulcano, which no doubt hearkens to the primitive sounds of Hellhammer and early Celtic Frost. While these bands aren’t carbon copies of each other, they do share a distinct style of retro, throwback metal that combines black metal ethos with thrashing riffs and the heaviness of death metal. Hades Archer puts five tracks to their side of the split, titled Circus of Abominations, and Slaughtbbath’s side, Antichristos Thanatos, showcases two tracks.
Hades Archer was firmed in 2005 by Nabucodonosor III, who has performed all instruments since the band’s formation, with the exception of drums. The aptly named Skullcrusherhammer has filled in as Hades Archer’s drummer since 2011, and with this split he does a hell of a job. It’s pure luck for the band that this release is coming right after an extremely successful Encyclopedia Metallum April Fools Day prank (where reviews for the band’s EP Penis Metal were submitted en masse, to effectively overthrow Wintersun’s Time I as the most reviewed album on that site), because the band got more exposure on that day then they ever would have gotten on their own (because you know, penis metal).
The Hades Archer tracks, collectively titled Circus of Abominations, are similar to what the band has presented before, but it seems that somewhere between Penis Metal and now the band found a favorable amount of control. Sure the pulsing, bestial metal that the band has been known for is still present, but the blasting drums and revved up lead guitars are more skillfully presented, the guitar riffs with a slight amount of polish. With only one track pushing past the three minute mark, Hades Archer hits fast and hard. The only time the pressure is released is the spoken word segment at the tail end of “The Hell Explodes on Earth”. The rest of the Hades Archer side of the split is the same old fashioned faced paced blackened thrashery they are known for. “Tempest” blasts forth with abandon, with choppy blastbeats and rangy trem picking while “Portals” is a miasmic and swirling descent into the maelstrom, complete with noodling leads and a punked up guitar riff. Circus of Abominations is a solid addition to the repertoire of Hades Archer.
Slaughtbbath could have been cut from the same cloth as Hades Archer, as their music is a stripped down amalgamation of all things heavy, much like the Hellhammer and Sarcófago imitators of the world. Slaughtbbath does go about with a somewhat heavier edge, though, with strong nods to the blasting, thrashing approach of Bestial Mockery and Destroyer 666. Where Hades Archer has shorter, cut throat songs, Slaughtbbath’s side features two longer tracks that continuously threaten to drag you into the dark pits that they crawled out from. “The Grand Dialogue + Mortal Paradigma” starts out with a slow, broiling piece of dark and decadent metal before swelling into fiery blasts and trem riffing. “Black Revelation of Death” cuts out the subterranean trudging and goes straight for the throat with nearly six minutes of fast paced blackened thrashing. While not as impressive as the Hades Archer tracks, the two tracks that embody Antichristos Thanatos are heavy as hell and invoke a strong sense of dread throughout.
Overall, this is a solid split from two primitive Chilean acts. While Hades Archer reigns victorious, Slaughtbbath proves they are worthy adversaries. Sure, these two bands play right into the stereotypical South American sound, but they are damn good at it. Fans of Sarcófago and Hellhammer cannot go wrong with this split as it offers two of Chile’s most perverse offerings. The Circus of Abominations / Antichristos Thanatos split show cases blackened thrashing with some oh so delectable traces of death metal for those who like it dark and dirty.