Black Antlers

Album Title: 
Demo III
Release Date: 
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Review Type: 

Black Antlers are a pretty young project with members from both the U. S. of A. (Justin Palmieri, the guy behind the superb i AM Esper-project) and Croatia (Robert Bekič, also involved with different solo-outfits). Both guys worked together before, or better, at least they released some split-material for their solo-projects (i AM Esper versus Mental Cage). Black Antlers released a handful of singles and demos (and compilation-stuff), and in early 2014 the duo recorded their third demo, which was originally released via great Cvlminis, and now also digitally released via the huge Torn Flesh Records-roster. This stuff is available too via Symbol Of Domination Productions, a sub-division of Satanath Records, and it’s via Satanath’s label-manager Aleksey that I did receive this material.

Demo III starts with a short intro, called Pure, which is a piece on acoustic guitars. Nothing special at all. But then, as from Wert Des Lebens, Black Antlers bring their ultimately ugly, mad, evil and horrific Black Metal. The guitar riffs are purely inspired by the nastiest sides of the second Wave trend, but the eventual execution goes much further. If only you take the vocals in account, you will understand the extremity of this duo’s grim approach. Bestial growls, monstrous grunts, shrieking screams, possessed yells, hysterical shouts and guttural blood-spitting; it’s just a short impression of the vocal performance… Two tracks, Wert Des Lebens and Erasing Hate, start with an atmospheric introduction, and despite being very limited in duration (the intro, not the songs themselves), it does color the whole atmosphere a lot (though, ‘to color’ means ‘to blacken’). But as soon as the ‘songs’ start, frenzy appears. The melodious, even melancholic Nordic melodies and the victorious rhythm section stay in fierce contrast with those vocals, but I think it’s a unique combination, a great interplay that characterizes this two-man project. And as a matter of fact, the song structures a pretty neat (haha, what’s in a word) too. Inner Piece, finally, is a long (six minutes) instrumental composition, based on hypnotic sounds and martial percussion, a fabulous interpretation on Ambient and Industrial, yet of a mostly oppressive yet, at the same time, dreamy kind.

Once again, a remark about the sound: not satisfying! Bad mix, too much background noises…

I do not know if these two guys have the intention to record a ‘professional’ full length in a near future, but studios and labels must pay attention, and give Black Antlers the support and equipment to evolve, to do what is meant to become…