Ante-Inferno is a new black metal act hailing from the moors of Yorkshire, England, and has former and current members of other UK black metal acts like Petrichor and Sathamel. But don’t go expecting a band like either of those bands or like other recent UK black metal like the symphonic Argesk or Darkthrone worshiping The Dying Light, this is more in line with the likes of Winterfylleth, Fen or Wodensthrone, or Forefather being more atmospheric, patient and regally….. well….English, though not as ‘pagan’ as some of those acts.

So that means Fane (a temple or shrine) is more sweeping, windswept, craggy but still majestic styled black metal that delivers both more urgent black metal swathes (“Return”, “Worship”) as well as more atmospheric moments (“Fane”, “Absence”, “Passing”) befitting the Yorkshire moors and certainly similar to some of their peers mentioned above, as well as the well documented Cascadian scene (Wolves in the Throne Room etc)

It’s all very well done with long (5 to 9 minutes) songs and a crisp but biting production that has that very British feel to it. Its not drenched in keyboards or super introspective, has no clean vocals, but as a balance of black grimness and more rolling, misty hills feel that imbues Yorkshire perfectly. The atmospherics is more by way of slower more controlled post black ish moments as heard on rangy real opener “Oath”, “Passing”, an album standout , and closer “Fragments”, the album’s most post-black sounding number with a more shimmery melodic main riff.

Vocalist/gutarist Kai Beanland has a standard black metal rasp that never veers into anything too grating or any sort of clean deviations, keeping things very safe in that department. When the band does bear down and deliver straight up tremolo picked frosty fury such as the scathing “Return” or bristling “Worship”, it’s pretty stout stuff and certainly more effective than the bands more restrained segues. But still a very good album from a suddenly burgeoning UK black metal scene.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 13th, 2020


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