Sunday, June 2, 2013

Antediluvian- λόγος(2013)

Antediluvian- λόγος
Few bands receive as much universal praise and are endowed with as many accolades as the mighty Antediluvian, and deservedly so.  The bands last two releases, Through the Cervix of Hawaah and the brilliant split with Adversarial Initiated in Impiety as Mysteries, have set the standard for atmospheric, suffocating Occult Black/Death; terrifying and twisted in ways few artists have been able to match while developing a sound which sits on wholly unique ground.  Its been a truly horrendous transformation for an artist which started out as merely another Incantation-clone, and as λόγος(Logos) shows, it is a metamorphosis which is not yet complete.
Its a very subtle evolution on λόγος from the bands two previous albums; crushing, massive Black/Death riffs, twisted progressions, wild and chaotic drumming tempos and Nabucodnosor's squishy guttural vocals are still the centerpiece of Antediluvian's sound and λόγος is no exception from the bands two previous releases.  The devil is(probably literally) in the details here; λόγος is a more technical, chaotic, avant-garde release than I was really expecting from these Canadians.  While Through the Cervix and Initiated in Impiety had these inhuman, disjointed chaotic moments, they were tempered by plenty of rhythmically un-obtuse sections and lots of Doom-y repose.  Yet these moments have almost completely disappeared from λόγος, and instead the album is dominated by the gnarled and truculent compositions, creating a level of density few albums possess.
Its probably seems insane to think of anything from Antediluvian as "catchy," but going back to Through the Cervix in particular I was struck by just how many memorable many of the tracks were.  The crushing grooves of "Luminous Harvest" and the blistering yet simple assaults of "Turquoise Harvest" could really stick with you well after the fact, and despite the albums truly insane moments and thick atmosphere it was an album which felt grounded in good old fashion neck snapping Death Metal.  λόγος on the other hand is far more relentless and rhythmically chaotic: the drumming of Mars Sekhmet is far more turbulent and disjointed, and rarely is there ever a moment to hang your hat on, while the noisy elements of Antediluvian's sound have far exceeded previous releases.  Her performance on the kit is daunting to be sure, and those looking for neck surgery are the only ones who should even attempt to do anything even close to head bang.
The subtly of this is key here, and λόγος still feels and sounds very much like an Antediluvian release.  "The Ash and the Stars" twists and turns in the hurricane winds, and evokes the nightmares of ancient spirits with dissonant leads and swirling riffs.  "Nuclear Crucifixion(Turning the Spear Inward)" has some of the few remnants of catchiness and memorability left on this album, though it would have been the most chaotic track on Through the Cervix; it has some driving Incantation-style tremolo-picked assaults and some softer, less compositionally dense moments that offer a small reprieve from the onslaught.  "Towers of Silence" is truly an abomination, a bleak and devastating slice of Blackened Death Metal with perhaps the most ironic title ever, as the density and noise on this track is simply overwhelming.
If I can levy any major complaints at λόγος, they lie with the production: the drum sound is very hollow and while balanced with the mix seem loud, especially the snare, and the guitars sound much thinner and uglier than the warmness of Through the Cervix or Initiated in Impiety.  With how chaotic and dense the drumming is, the drum sound can become very obnoxious.  Its not a bad production mix per-se, but in comparison to previous releases this might be my least favorite since the bands early, nearly unlistenable demo material.
But from a song writing perspective, I find λόγος to be a slightly inferior album to Through the Cervix of Hawaah.  I find myself impressed with the bands continued foray to relentless chaos and utter hatred for their listeners, but part of me misses those truly memorable moments of the past.  I get far too much of a Portal vibe from λόγος, and while this album quite easily destroys anything that Portal have ever released on every conceivable level, it still suffers from too much noise and inhuman tempos to be truly enjoyable all the time.  λόγος offers more good than bad to be sure, but be prepared for an album which will quite literally hate you to death.
Rating: 8.5/10


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