I’m really enjoying what French label, Antiq Records is doing of late. I first discovered them with 2019s Par le sang versé from Véhémence, which made my 2019 year-end list. And now, here is 2021, they have a trio of excellent releases that could all end up on my year-end list from Hanteroz, Ascète, and the best of the bunch so far, Passéisme.

Loosely translating to ‘attachment to the past’, Passéisme is a trio from Russia that is surprisingly the dudes behind Swedish death metal lovers Wombripper. However, rather than HM 2 worshiping death metal, they play the same sort of heroic, triumphant, medieval black metal like label mates Véhémence (even sharing the same sort of heraldic cover art) and have delivered a killer, if short album of wonderfully French sounding melodic, atmospheric black metal that will appeal to fans of the aforementioned Véhémence as well as the likes of Forteresse,  Abduction and Sühnopfer.

The album is broken up into 7 ‘chants’ (Tribulation, Harvest, Austerity, Insolence, Parade, Splendour, Enlightenment), with one being the expected medieval, French spoken word, acoustic number (“Chant For Splendour”), the other 6 chants are all shrill, busy, layered melodic tracks of gorgeously chaotic black metal. The only sticking point might be the vocals, which are more of a death metal shout, than the expected black metal rasp or shriek. But I personally liked them, as they didn’t wear or grate after a while. The production is warm, with nice bottom end, but the shrill, layered guitars steal the show.

All six are killer numbers but in particular, “Chant for Harvest” with its haughty little jig/jaunty pace,  super busy chamber black metal of “Chant for Insolence”, rousing “Chant for Parade’ and the 10-minute closer “Chant For Enlightenment” with its abundance of killer, melodic riffs and atmospheric midsection, all standout. Again, it’s kinda cool and surprising that three death metal guys from Russia are behind this.

I really like what Antiq is doing. They have some variety on their roster but their better releases have locked into this heroic, knightly melodic, medieval sound that’s truly awesome when done as well as this, as Eminence is by far one of my favorite releases of 2021 so far.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 17th, 2021


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