An Early Stream of ATHANATHEOS ‘Cross. Deny. Glorify.’ LP (2023)PREMIERE

Today we have the honor and privilege of sharing an early stream of the third full-length album from atheistic, zeitgeist-transcendant French death metal band ATHANATHEOS. In keeping with their tradition of pure North American death metal influences which have transformed into their own conceptually guided voice over the course of two decades ‘Cross. Deny. Glorify.’ is a work not only built in mind for years but also one achieved with near complete independence, a full-length which best represents the intellectual reach of their themes and their own brand of violently thrashed death metal. The album releases this Friday, April 14th on compact disc and digitally by way of the fine people over at Lavadome Productions.

Pre-empted by the ‘Eskhatos‘ EP in late 2020 the involved and smartly writ concept of ‘Cross. Deny. Glorify.‘ sets the events of the album during the reign of Constantine as the Roman emperor declared circa 323 CE that Christianity be tolerated. This served as the catalyst for Christianity to spread and in the span of three decades the inherent intolerance of the Christian faith had spread, quickly becoming the tool of crooked inheritance of power and the new state religion to be enforced upon the people. The irony might be lost on some but the hypocrisy shouldn’t be as we see the moment that the Christian faith took hold of its first significant power in Rome that it’d only spread doom and intolerance from that point. Of course the verbose and austere presentation of Athanatheos says much more and in a more artful way than my vague summary does. The narrative here is a set of letters writ between three generations of Romans (a soldier, a merchant and a philosopher) where they detail the societal decay and increasingly ruthless enforcement of the Christian religion which’d occurred between 323-393 CE. — All of this is conveyed through strident, sophisticated death metal which still has the organic movement and fiery threshing of classic forms but with a render that offers strong personalized character, a righteous balance of what has always worked in death metal and how it can be translated in a ‘modern’ sense of readable narrative. It is as much a thinking man’s death metal record as it is a purely enjoyable riff-fest, though no doubt ‘Cross. Deny. Glorify‘ will inspire many to take a closer look at its inspired lyrics.

Thanks goes out to the artist, their label and representation for the opportunity to share this album early. Scroll down to the Bandcamp embed below to finalize your descent… As always, please do your best to support the extreme metal underground and grab a physical copy from Lavadome Productions this Friday:

Per the Press Release:

The resurgence in death metal’s popularity over the past decade has been a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the sheer number of new and emerging bands means that there have never been more quality releases to relish. On the other hand, there has also never been greater pressure for bands to conform to established genre conventions in order to find an audience. Bands that do not neatly fit into the niche of “old-school”, “brutal”, “technical”, “melodic”, or “dissonant” will frequently fall through the cracks and be ignored by extreme metal’s taste-makers. Through a decade-long career this has so far been the fate of France’s ATHANATHEOS.

Risen from the ashes of Soul Rejected in 2012, ATHANATHEOS has to date unleashed two of the most thoughtful, meticulously-crafted and difficult-to-characterize death metal records of recent memory, with 2012’s “Alpha Theistic” and 2020’s “Prophetic Era (Or How Yahveh Became the One)”. Both albums, as well as the sophomore’s companion EP “Eskhatos”, manifested a multi-faceted and thoughtful take on death metal that defied trends by synthesizing influences from across the extreme metal spectrum. Traces of influence from the likes of Immolation, Nile, Emperor, Morbid Angel and Greek Black Metal appear as color and texture while the lines, shape and spaces on the canvas are those of a thoroughly unique design.

This approach remains consistent on ATHANATHEOS’ third album, “Cross. Deny. Glorify.” – a work of the sort of scope and ambition that speaks to a band confident in its ability to emerge from the gutters of obscurity and reveal itself to a broader audience. Befitting a concept album that follows the paths of three generations of Roman men (a soldier, merchand and philosopher) as they watch their empire decay from within in the wake of Emperor Constantine’s adoption of Christanity as its official religion, every song on “Cross. Deny. Glorify.” is unique in its character while holding true to a core musical vision that binds the entire record. From the militaristic chug that opens “The Cross,” to the nimble melodic counterpoint of “You Were Not,” to the pensive and melancholic doom-paced climax of “The Silent Oblivion,” to the crumbling sprawl of closer “To Glorify,” this record manages to conjure grandeur and ruin with fervor and earnestness that’s rare and refreshing in the modern extreme metal scene.

Conceptualized and meticulously assembled and refined over a period of two decades (the ideas from which the record germinated date back to 2001), it’s unsurprising that “Cross. Deny. Glorify.” defies the zeitgeist the way it does. The mentality that undergirds this record is the same one that allowed death metal to evolve and thrive in the exile of absolute ostracism by the mainstream: No trends, no compromise, only pure vision.

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