Antestor - The Return of Black Death (Cacophonous) 1998
I must just be getting old because most of the newer forms of metal are unappealing to me. Antestor are from Norway and play modern black metal. Their look is that of Kiss after being caught in a severe rainstorm. (Corpse paint) Their music is like death metal played at the wrong speed, with some keyboards thrown in to add some melody. If you mixed Alvin from the Chipmunks with Cookie Monster, I'm sure he would sound much like these black metal vocalists. All this being said, there are times when I pull this disc out and am enthralled by the mix of violent metal with the majestic melodies of Norwegian folk and classical music. I guess it could be said that while Antestor stand on their own, they are following in the footsteps of fellow Norwegian black metallers Emporer. I am holding onto this disc as I am told it went out of print almost as quickly as it went into print. Cacophonous, a label rooted in sincerely Satanic philosophies finding out after the album was released that Antestor's lyrics were rooted in Christian faith rather than hatred towards all things Christian. Who could tell?
Antestor - Det Tapte Liv (Endtime Productions) 2004
1. "Rites of Death"
This was the highly anticipated new release from Norway's Antestor! The first 1000 copies pressed are in a Limited Edition black matte box with a debossed, black Antestor logo. The box is designed to also house the upcoming full-length DigiPak, once it is released, thus completing the set. Subsequent pressings of the EP will not be in the box. This is very elaborate packaging, especially for a Christian release. Musically, the band continues in a similar mode as their last release, "The Defeat of Satan". The music is extremely fast and heavy, but also melodic, if that makes sense. All the songs are dynamic and contain many different tempo changes. For example, "Med Hevede Sverd" is an incredibly fast black metal number but has a melancholy bridge right in the middle of the song. Three of the five tracks here are jaw-dropping fast, while the other two are a bit slower and a bit more ethereal. The opening track "Rites of Death" will be on the upcoming full-length, although in a different mix. The other four tracks are supposedly unique to this EP.
Antestor - The Forsaken (Endtime Productions) 2005
1. "Rites Of Death"
This is one of those albums that was hyped to the hills as "one of the greatest black metal releases ever". Certainly among Christian metal fans many were touting "The Forsaken" as "...the best christian metal release of the year and one of the best ever". I almost hate when albums are raised on a pedistal like this because those are some pretty high expectations to live up to and most do not. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this disc. "The Forsaken" may be a bit overtouted, but it is a very good disc. Since I am not the biggest black metal fan, I can't give any really good comparisons, although I have read that "The Forsaken" is a mixture of of recent Crimson Moonlight with Cradle of Filth. OK, sounds good to me. All I can say is that this is an enjoyable disc. It has a very dark, cold, melodic sound, however it is also quite heavy, fast and punishing at times. Each song seems to have a plethora of sounds and emotions with a ton of dynamics. Sometimes the drum work is dizzying. Drummer Jan Axel Bloomberg's (aka Hellhammer) is a legend in black metal circles. As usual for black metal, the vocals are of the troll-attempting-to-sound-evil variety, however for the most part I was able to make out the lyrics. My only real complaint is the same as it is with all black metal, the songs just lack a hook. As soon as you turn this CD off you can't remember even one song that you've heard. There is nothing in any of these songs that gets stuck in your head; nothing catchy, nothing to sing along to, nothing memorable. I suppose writing hooks is something that black metal bands couldn't care less about, but then again, that's why I am not that big of a fan of the style to begin with.
Antestor - Omen (Bombworks) 2012