Anno Aspera

Finland’s purveyors of depravity and sickness return one more time. Ten songs thirty seven minutes. My favorite song is the final seven minutes, the title track, even though the words suicide and anno aspera are repeated far too often. Great slow rumbling song, ominous. Vocals are recited trance like in the background and the guitars are simple and heavy with minimal drums. It is the background rumblings that make it stand apart from the other songs. After awhile the pace picks up to slow and Demonos Sova reverts to his normal voice…”suicide, suicide, suicide, anno aspera, anno aspera, anno aspera, anno aspera…” you get the idea. Overly repetitive lyrics are obviously not limited to this song but are a Barathrum staple. “Angelraper” beats you over the head with this to the point of exhaustion. Screaming angelraper 47 times does not a quality song make. There are some cool melodies however. “Into Maze of Nightmares” is another standout song with its heavy monotonous pace and demented echoing vocals mixed with static, then the bass guitar kicks in and the pace quickens…and becomes less interesting. Good thing they keep up the cool slow guitar. I love the song titles like corpse desecration, angelraper, crucifix masturbation, it is nice to see some bands still promote the early 80’s maturity level in black metal lyrics.

The subtitle of this disk is 2003 years after bastard’s birth. Either Christ was born in the year 2 or this album was delayed for two years and they did not update the title. This album has its moments but it feels like Barathrum has run its course. I listened to the first three albums on a regular basis until just a few years ago. I guess I’ve finally gotten tired of them and the new ones have not rekindled interest in the back catalog. If the story is true and they have disbanded, then this is a fine farewell, hail Sova, and thanks for the effort, it was worth it.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
December 18th, 2004


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