Antares Predator

Twilight of the Apocalypse

Written by: EW on 22/03/2010 20:00:08

I've looked to begin this review in my usual style with some quirky fact or statement regarding the band/album in question, but it seems I'm struggling to do that with Norwegian extreme metallers Antares Predator. Yes they feature in their ranks ex-members of Keep of Kalessin and Belphegor but knowing the revolving door policies of many bands in this world that is no great surprise, especially when it comes to bands like Belphegor. Could this be a sign of things to come?

Well, the catch-all term 'extreme metal' is that which best describes the riff and blast found on these guys’ debut album, featuring black metal riffing against death metal brutality and thrash metal speed with the result being a record that will appeal to the fanbase of bands like Belphegor, Zyklon and 1349. On the positive side "Twilight Of The Apocalypse" is a well-produced and thoroughly modern taste of the heaviest end of the metal spectrum with each element loud and clear, and in the case of the drums, an example of modern-day extreme metal drumming replete with incalculable double bass kicks designed to sap the energy of even the fittest drummer. Songs like "Mark 13" and "Through The Deep" would have 1349 struggling to keep up while the band make their attempt at displaying something different by injecting the title track and "Downfall" among others with a healthy dose of FX/synth, giving these moments a more dramatic and grandiose feel akin to recent Dimmu Borgir material. Vocalist Steffan Schulze too keeps up the Dimmu similarities with a respectably decent performance in a style somewhere around the marks laid down in history by Shagrath and Ihsahn (Emperor) - yeh it's hard to be original around these shores but Schulze does his job well.

Of course, as you were expecting a negative side to the story, this one comes primarily in the form of the album's production. You may hear me or other reviewers talk about natural or organic sounds, a production style I personally prefer - well it is albums such as this that create those feelings. "Twilight Of The Apocalypse" is too un-natural in its execution to really generate any feelings of warmth or great appreciation towards it in the way classic, timeless thrash, death and black metal has done for many years. With much of the overall conception teetering slightly the wrong side of the human/mechanical divide the opportunity to feel at one with the music is missing, leaving merely the chance to appreciate the brutality and extreme metalness that is no doubt there aplenty. It's just that with better albums in my collection from some of the aforementioned bands like Belphegor, Keep of Kalessin and Zyklon and a sound not nearly unique enough to make its mark on an old-timer like me, "Twilight Of The Apocalypse" will fall into the fields of top-level mediocrity, pulled out only for when I'm in a particularly disgusted, foul and brain-dead mood.

Download: Twilight Of The Apocalypse, Mark 13
For The Fans Of: Belphegor, Zyklon, 1349, Keep of Kalessin
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 05.02.2010
Battlegod Productions

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