The Antichrist Imperium – Volume II: Every Tongue Shall Praise Satan

Rating: 4.5/5
Released: 2018
Label/Distributor: https://apocalypticwitchcraft.co.uk/
Buy Album: https://apocalypticwitchcraft.co.uk/collections/specials/products/the-antichrist-imperium-volume-ii-every-tongue-shall-praise-satan-digipack-cd
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/theantichristimperium/

Album Track Listing
  1. The Dreadful Hosanna
  2. Death Ritual
  3. Draw Down the Moon
  4. Liturgy of the Iconoclast/Blood Sacrifice
  5. Ceremonial Suicide Rites
  6. Golgothian Hieros Gamos
  7. Sermon of Small Faith
Band Line Up

David Gray – Drums
Matt Willcock – Guitars/Bass
Sam Bean – Vocals
Samuel Loynes – Vocals

Video

https://youtu.be/MMIiwhC4fGs

Review

One word springs to mind when I think about The Antichrist Imperium: pedigree. Featuring members of such luminaries as Akercocke, The Berzerker, and Voices, this was always going to be a darkly devilish treat. The band have managed to create something that infuses elements of their other projects, whilst managing to sound unique and engaging. The band themselves have described their self-titled first album as a work in progress, whereas this effort represents their vision fully realised.

The black mass begins with “The Dreadful Hosanna”. A vigorous, nasty and vicious assault, this features some strange and esoteric moments, while managing to be mesmerisingly aggressive and beguilingly progressive at the same time. The dizzying riffs of “Death Ritual” keep up the momentum. Indeed, this is the aural equivalent of being trapped in a whirlpool, and just when you think you have it all sussed the band change tack and introduce riffs that sound like rusty saw blades. Spectacular.  The abstruse “Draw Down the Moon” recalls some of Akercocke’s more arcane and idiosyncratic moments, screeching and hurtling towards the pentagram in a dark adrenaline rush.

Something entirely different is introduced with “Liturgy of the Iconoclast/Blood Sacrifice”, a bewitching piece of goth melodrama. It draws back from the hawkish and combative side of the band’s sound and is very affecting as a result. They continue to confuse and seduce with “Ceremonial Suicide Rites”, a devilishly warped liturgy. When it suddenly explodes in a fit of unbridled Satanic fury it bewilders. A blackened yet schizophrenic sojourn through the soul, it alters pitch and delivery on a whim and commands your full attention to completely appreciate it. “Golgothian Hieros Gamos” is more of a standard headbanger, that thrashes all over the place but retains a laser-like focus.  All of which leads to the album’s startling conclusion: “Sermon of Small Faith”. As startling and horrifying as anything any of the band members have produced before, this is an off-kilter nightmare that sounds like three songs crammed together. I’m still gibbering in the corner as I type this.

This is an absolute delight to listen to. It is an exquisitely eccentric celebration of the darkest elements of the human psyche, woven through with an indescribable sense of otherworldliness.  It manages to mix several different styles of both vocal and metal without ever sounding forced. A work of staggering genius.

Review By Owen Thompson
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