Under Wing Of Asael
(Serpents Head Records)
One of the most powerful and convincing demos in recent years has been released by Canadian duo ANTEDILUVIAN. "Under Wing Of Asael", their fourth release following two demo tapes and a split with NUCLEARHAMMER and LIGHT AM I offers four very impressive compositions of filthy and cryptic blackened Death Metal with a bizarre and psychedelic (for a lack of a better word) twist to it. Once the first riff of ‘Solarburst’ kicks in you are in for a ride of darkest Death Metal, somewhat comparable to early INCANTATION (debut album and EPs), PROFANATICA and early DEMONCY as ANTEDILUVIAN play similarly atonal riffs which have a hypnotic quality to them, while using different song structures than the aforementioned bands. Additionally, the band incorporates slow, doomy and slightly trippy parts which take the speed out of the compositions all of a sudden (as in ‘Indomitable Time-Eater’ for example). There is always some slight variation going on in the riffs and the percussion, resulting in a very organic and at times odd flow of the songs, so you definitely have more than a band "just" following the tried and tested formulas of dark Death Metal! The vocals are absolutely brilliant, very deep, almost guttural commands which descend into even lower registers here and there which made me think of throat singing, especially in the slow section of ‘Solarburst’. Mirroring the depth of the music is the enigmatic artwork which, while avoiding all classic elements of metal imagery, looks very dark and cryptic. The cover shows some object or collage semingly consisting of bones and other material (VERY roughly comparable to the collage artwork on the MY DYING BRIDE debut or DISINCARNATE), the pictures of the band members, hidden in shadows give away nothing of their appearance as they are wielding bones and animal skulls. The whole package – music, artwork, lyrics – exudes an inhuman, cosmic atmosphere so the statement printed in the booklet: "ANTEDILUVIAN IS TIME DESTROYING DEATH" comes across as an apt description an not just an outrageous claim. It is great to see that there are bands which are rooted in a certain underground traditions yet still strive to come up with their own vision! This demo can be obtained at the band’s address: email@example.com. The triple split mentioned here is also a worthy purchase, even though the two two ANTEDILUVIAN tracks on it aren’t as suffocating and intense as "Under Wing…". Scheduled next is a release on Bird Of Ill Omen Records so keep your dead eyes open.