Antaeus

Blood Libels

NED/AJNA 2006

I was amazed when I saw Anteaus live (with Watain and Secrets of the Moon) because they had such a massive stage presence and their vocalist devastated in a strangely maniacal yet occult manner.  So I had high expectations before I heard Blood Libels.  Man I was supremely disappointed at first.  My first impression was that it was bland and boring and lacked much in the attention grabbing department.  So I set it down for awhile and came back to it after a month or two and now my opinion had turned a complete 180 degree turn.  Now I find it bombastic and powerful.  The over the top annihilating blasts of Zvn's drumming just serves to make the hypnotic mayhem inspired guitar work seem so much more calculated and razor sharp in their clinical slicing.  The title track happnes to be my favorite song due to its constantly shifting and haunting riffing and its tiny passages of calm in an otherwise turbulent maelstrom of chaos. Plus I really enjoy the way it drifts into echoes of madness with the overlaid and layered vocals and caustic machinations that close out the track.  MkM's vocals are like a madman calling from the void in a verbal manifestation of the Pied Piper's communal column of hellbound converts.  And the guitar production sounds like the hissing and popping of static and supplies ample energy to the frenetic pacing of the songs.  Not to be overlooked is the packaging that is very beautiful in a deeply and emotionally disturbed way.  From Beginning to End, from Alpha to Omega, Antaeus delivers a resoundingly Trikumpant and relentlessly brutal assault on my ears, my spiritual sanctity and even upon the intellect of my mind.  I "smell victory!!!!" and I sense my own soul's defeat at the hands of this holocaust of French black metal.