ANTAIOS "God; The Fake Artist"/ STIGMATIC CHORUS "Waters of Styx"
The Metal Reviews Archive
Antaios are a fairly brutal Norwegian Black Metal band, while Stigmatic Chorus from Russia play the more synth-infused and melodic variant of Black Metal. In other words, the works of two very different bands are here collected on one CD. Antaios start the split with their 4 track "God; The Fake Artist", recorded in 1998. Hard-hitting brutal and aggressive Black Metal, but with a sense for good melodies and heavy riffs leaning more towards Death Metal at times. There are lots of blast beats here, but Antaios do occasionally slow things down a bit with beautiful acoustic guitars and atmospheric synths. Thankfully they use the synth sparsely, so the little synth we hear on their part of the split is a welcome addition to the sound. Although the music is performed fairly brutally, there are a few rather catchy parts and nice melodies here, at times perhaps comparable to Frostmoon Eclipse. The first song, "Her Silent Screams" is quite brutal and catchy and has a beautiful slower part reocurring in it. Very nice song! second song, "The Corpse of Christ" is full-speed tremolo aggression all the way. The riffs sound a bit generic, and the lack of variation gives me no choice but to say I think this song is quite mediocre, unfortunately. Third track, "Where The Angels Die" shows yet an other approach, sounding something inbetween the first and 2nd tracks. At least this has some nice melodies and some more Death Metal oriented riffs, like the opening track, and again: beautiful slower atmospheric part! The fourth and last track, entitled "Dreaming of the Dead" is an instrumental outro. Nice, but slightly monotonous acoustic guitars and synths. A fitting ending.
Stigmatic Chorus present us with 7 tracks, although two of them are intros and outros. From the first second you hear that we're dealing with a completely different band here. Lots of melodic synths and catchy riffing introduce us to Stigmatic Chorus. Although they have preserved aggression and darkness in their music. The vocal is a crispy Black Metal scream, and there are more traditional sounding tremolo parts here. But Stigmatic Chorus have a much broader sound than their counterpart on the split. Quite varied songs and fitting use of synths. In some parts, the synth is creating a layer of atmosphere in the background, other times they let the synth dominate the soundscape for a moment while the guitars play the role of creating a heavy rhythmic support. Some parts here are brilliant, while other parts just don't stick out. Variation is a good thing, but still I think Stigmatic Chorus might have been more interesting to listen to if they worked more on the songwriting. They have a good point of departure in "Waters of Styx", it just fails to capture my attention over a longer period, even though it does have certain original ideas.
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