Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Antediluvian - Septentrional Theophany (2013)

EP, Nuclear War Now! Productions
May 14th, 2013

Genre: Black/Death Metal
Region: Canada

A booster EP recorded during the λόγος sessions, Septentrional Theophany is another rapturous astral upheaval from this now infamous Canadian group. It's been well established I'm a big fan of these guys and their related hordes so any new material will have me interested. I think the only one I haven't got to yet was their Cogitating Vacuous split with Temple Nightside. For shame I know.

Yes this is a 7" that was packaged with the 80 page, heavy duty Haruspex Zine #1 (written by Jason Campbell, art and layout of Tim Grieco, in association with the label) which appeared recently along with the vinyl press of their last LP. The magazine itself is pretty fuckin beautiful in packaging and art, not to mention the content/depth of interviews and artist discussions (Denis Forkas, Tim Grieco, Marko Marov, and Manuel Tinnemans). It includes a lot of words with the Nuclear War Now! Productions cult such as: 
Ares Kingdom
Rotting Christ (Interviews with Sakis Tolis, Jim Mutilator, and Magus Vampyr Daoloth)
Bone Awl (Interview featuring HWCT and HWGT)
Bestial Raids
The interviews with Conqueror and Bone Awl are particularly interesting however there's generally some nice insights drawn out from diehard members and contributors of the community, with wicked presentation. If you're into digging deep with the bands above then definitely jump on this one. The record is streaming on bandcamp.

(Bone Awl interview)
Two new tracks with lyrics also by Jason Campbell. Something noticeable is that the clarity of this EP is higher even compared to λόγος (at least the tape version, the vinyl/cd press is clearer). It's nowhere near as muddy as TTCOH or the material prior to that which I can see being a problem for a lot of people. Maybe taking a little away from the drumming and grit but Antediluvian are inherently ugly, scratched, and weathered. This EP does retain those characteristics, and the destruction sealed within each moment of the two tracks here is still of great creative quality, and primal with the strong current of mystic cosmology.

So the chaos is still rearing it's malignant head throughout what you'll hear here. Darkly empyrean and profanely exploring ancient (Greek/Christian) theism/deism much like λόγος did but focused on a specific location or region. "North" is referred to several times, Phosphoros (morning star) and awaiting the its appearance, being guided by the destoyer's vision (Abandon),  and the title references a boreal theistic awakening or worship if I'm not mistaken,

Also I don't know if there's much intended significance but stringing together the sequence of writing and tracks gets you "Being in the opus of sacrifice at the mount of the congregation... in the sides of the North". There's obviously more meaning there coupled with the lyrical content regarding astral rebirth and journey, ritual significance of the aurora borealis and morning star (perhaps), etc.

Getting to the tracks themselves more closely. "Mount of the Congregation..." begins in a strikingly ordinary (relative yes) or orthodox manner after a brief sample, maybe returning to their Serpents Malignancy days but chunkier. The drumming remains steady and integral, complex however. Slow rocking powerchords and then just the tom pounding, then the full force of their depravity is unleashed.

Later this opening riff snakes it's way in much faster, transforming several times and in the midst of one of these horrid screams can be heard, on a higher register than the abyssal gurgled hymns that poison the surroundings. The rapidity of their direction changes and pacing reminds me of their Revelations in Excrement EP: progressively more chaotic and complex, before cutting off at the height of intensity.

(Ares Kingdom)
Then there's "...In the Sides of the North", a jarring spiral of archaic violence right from the beginning, the sour tremolo riffs slowly wrapping around you, the hasty sledgehammering from the percussive end slowing inky for measured tom hits between riffs. It's from the one minute mark where things start to get disorienting as the pace is picked up, particularly awesome riffs one after another. This is a song where they pull some more experimentation beyond their usual barbarous lashing, tactfully approaching something a more bleak or horror driven once the chaos subsides slightly.

Amid the howling bent and sustained notes and the tortured screams a thick atmosphere wells up at this point, the drumming becomes more tribal, steady, supporting the descent of the scraping rhythm behind it. It's a cosmic drowning that lingers only for so long, the return to bestial warfare is explosive for the final minute, shriveling like a closing portal.

Get this if you so desire, and I would guess many people desire more Antediluvian material. I wouldn't say it's essential but all of Antediluvian's releases are a treat for any fan of the ancient and filthy ceremonies they indulge in. You know I'll recommend it.

Available at Nuclear War Now! Productions with the first issue of their Haruspex Zine.

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