Placing your outstretched hand on a table is a harmless thing to do. Placing it on such a table just before some balaclava wearing bastard smashes your fingertips with a lump hammer is a somewhat more painful prospect. The crunch of bone and searing pain is unbearable, as it is when the hammer falls again. However when it mashes into the gore of your broken hands for the umpteenth time the effect is nowhere near as bad, you’ve suffered the worst. The same principle applies to “Wings Of Antichrist.”
TRIUMPHATOR have provided us with an album which has the same effect as walking in front of a bullet train, it has brutally violent and immediate consequences. Right from the off you are swept off your feet by a storm surge of blasting drums and savage six strings. This is a hurricane of a CD complete with a mid section eye of the storm slow menacer. The speed is unrelenting and afterwards you feel like tenderized raw steak. Subtlety has been left in its sack as wave after wave of sonic abuse steamroller over you, rhythm rules and melody is thoroughly mocked.
If there was such a thing as cruelty to drum kits then Mr Andersson would be behind bars. The pummelling is vicious and constant, a permanent blast zone. Occasional rapid fire rolls are thrown in as well as cymbal obliteration. The guitar just shreds, an abrasive wheel casting molten sparks everywhere. An occasional Nordic riff breaks free before being swallowed by the maelstrom. This is heavy stuff for a speed of light Black Metal record, helped in many respects by an obvious and obnoxious bass that piledrives its way through in no uncertain terms.
Though variety does not get much of a look in on “Wings Of Antichrist,” a couple of tracks break from the mould. “Crushed Revelation” is a bruising slow burner placed mid album, the guitar tone seeps peril as it creeps, knife in hand, through inky subterranean depths to the accompaniment of deep earth bass explosions. There then follows “Redeemer Of Chaos” which is an all together different kettle of fish. It is back up to warp speed again but this time TRIUMPHATOR throw in some mental lead guitar scrawl that slices away at the knotted muscle of the main instrumentation. It’s like being staked out on the ground to be trampled by a herd of stampeding elephant at the same time as having buckets of acid thrown over you.
With finesse firmly locked in the cupboard, this album is all about heads down, full on aural attack. If speed is what you need then lay hands on this. However repeated listens blunts the impact eventually, as outlined above, once that nasty man has pulped your pinkies, you begin to not care. That said, if you leave sufficient time between each painful experience then trepidation will set in, sweat forms on your brow and a trip to the laundry may be in order. (Online June 21, 2005)