“Blood Libels” will kill you.
That should be the entire review with the score plastered above: just that one sentence, because this is some of the most insane, filthy, acidic and utterly fowl music spawned in the last decade or so. “Blood Libels” is a follow-up to the blower “De Principii Evangelikum” which pumped forth clouds upon clouds of Black Filth filling the air with a caustic material deadly to anything in the vicinity. To say the least “De Principii Evangelikum” kicked a lot of (poser?) ass and dragged along all the corpses it created along with it.
“Blood Libels” follows en route with its insane drumming, venomous vocals and sadistic guitar attacks. This is guaranteed to cause some sort of tetanus of the ears, filling your audio orifices and leading to a painful, and yet enjoyable, musical death. This hellish audio terror is brought to you by the sick minds of MkM, LSK, Set and the newest drummer T. Thelemnar of SECRETS OF THE MOON fame. Now the guitars are intense, they are razors; the noises from these seemingly innocent instruments are turned into tools for devouring flesh and destroying human life. The drums….of all that is Holy the drums are out of this world. Blasting, blasting and more blasting at hyper-speeds and keeping a constant barrage on the senses, the drums pound all your nerves into dust and leave your lifeless body for the filth vomiting, grinning, and demonic snake that is MkM’s vocal performance.
Now, the source of this madness would probably begin with MkM. The man was institutionalized in a mental hospital years back and at the time was drugged and injected to keep him calm and emotion free – a zombie of a man. At this time, he has put this entire experience behind him and has since been facing problems that apparently make the older times “seem like holidays” so the man is clearly fighting a battle and is venting a lot of this emotion in the music. And damn….does it ever show. I’ve never heard such an emotionally fueled Black Metal vocal performance, MkM sounds like some sort man possessed to the point of madness by this devotion to defeat all that is trying to destroy him.
To put it in comparison with other bands: “Blood Libels” is the album GORGOROTH wished they made with “Ad Majorem Sathanas Gloriam”. So it’s like that album, but not woefully uninspired and lacking the Filth factor. And those are indeed….fightin’ words. Another musical comparison would be MARDUK’s newest “Plague Angel” on speed, and instead of Mortuus’s brilliant vocal performance, it’s MkM’s.
The riffs on “Blood Libels” aren’t complex, but that doesn’t mean that don’t sound insane, as they do. Songs like “Rot”, “Here Is Punishment” and “Blood Libels” pummel you with brutality upon pre-mediated thought, which combine to create a murderous blow to the skull. As mentioned before, the drumming is chaotic, but it’s just so hard to convey the carnage being wreaked throughout “Blood Libels” as it is almost to the point of overwhelming.
Which is something that may come up, amongst the brutality, one may be compelled to simply stop and call it “Enough!” as this noise coming from the album will cause the weaker of you to run away in fear. So if you’re a fan of let’s say…..CRADLE OF FILTH (bad?), DIMMU BORGIR (good), ABIGAIL WILLIAMS (really, really bad), or some other “clean” and “melodic” Black Metal bands, don’t bother. Really, just don’t you’ll hate “Blood Libels”. But if FUNERAL MIST, “Destroyer” era GORGOROTH, KATHARSIS or the fucking a’ War Metal band RITES OF THY DEGRINGOLADE is your cup of Black Filthy Tea…then step up, and bring a body bag.
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant French (as expected?) Black Metal of the highest caliber. I’ve perhaps listened to this album nine or ten times in the last two weeks and the brilliance just sunk in, and I must admit, I can’t get enough of this filth. So kids, can you survive, let alone handle, the undying madness and chaos of ANTAEUS?
So, now you can have your (caustic) cake and eat it too, as ANTAEUS brings absolutely everything that a Black Metal fan could really want but doesn’t hold back on the formula for which they are known. This is militant philosophy mixed with some mind-melting music and professionalism. The dirt and muck from “Blood Libels” seethes over the sides as the tar boils over and melts away the skin and permeates in the crevices of you skull, to say it bluntly “Blood Libels” shines/bursts/teams with genius on a multitude of levels.
“Blood Libels” will kill you.
PS. The mp3 links are all to the Myspace page which features all unmastered tracks, but the raw edge does not detract from the song.
(Online May 23, 2007)