Conceived decades ago but set into active motion around 2012 this Peruvian death/doom project has finally realized a full-length in the form of ‘Pax Moriendi’ and it’s style is relatively minimalist death/doom that verges on funeral doom with it’s gothic-esque keyboards and dynamically slow pace. When things do speed up Antichrist fully resemble ancient obscurities like Pentacrostic‘s ‘The Pain Tears’ and long buried Spina Bifida on their ‘Ziyadah’ album. From chugging mid-paced death to keyboard-scented funeral dirges Antichrist resemble the sort of mid-90’s extreme doom variations that you’d have found on labels like Wild Rags and Peaceville at the time and this works as a great positive for ‘Pax Moriendi’.
At their slowest Antichrist begin to resemble the ethereal shambling of Skepticism with a curtain of distortion, rather than keyboards, leading the way and in these slowest moments I began to lose interest in ‘Pax Moriendi’ with more frequent listening. The off-kilter early Unholy style of death metal never quite reaches the fidelity or layering of an album like ‘The Second Ring of Power’ or even old, yet similar, rarities like Mytholigical Cold Towers‘ debut. And I suppose I can see why a song like “You Will Never See Sun Light” is a stunning variation in it’s dance from the heaviness of death/doom as it slows all the way to an ethereal funeral doom crawl. What frustrated me initially was the often meaningless movements, sometimes just fade-outs, that serve as transitions between death/doom and funeral doom passages.
The subtle death/doom of “Forgotten in Nameless Suffering” and “Obscurantism” recalls the earliest demo days of groups like Mythic, Disembowelment and Ceremonium but never quite nail any hard hitting or standout riffs, though they do invoke that same atmosphere and sound. The more time I spent listening to it, the subtlety of ‘Pax Moriendi’ is one of it’s more interesting qualities as an odd shroud of old school hangs over the whole thing with angelic keyboard work filling out their sound in unexpected ways. The one song that does a good job of blending every aspect of Antichrist’s sound into one statement is “In the Dark and Mournful Corner of Memory” which comes close to 11 minutes in length and leads into my personal favorite track “Screams and Lamentations Drowned”.
I think what is most remarkable about Antichrist‘s debut is how much they’re able to do with a stripped down recording and still create a captivating old school sounding release. It’s obscured and subtle nature will almost surely maintain a cult status as the sound quality and mixing will drive away folks more familiar with the modern competitive fidelity of the death/doom scene worldwide. I think this’ll fit in well next to your Ceremonium and early Evoken records nicely and some of it’s more raw death metal moments will please even the most cult Winter or Goatlord fan, if they can warm up to the emphasis on funeral doom throughout.
|Released||March 9, 2018|
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Funeral Doom Metal
Bestial gloom and sorrow. 3.75/5.0
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