Reviewed by Steven Ecott
Being the only Christian band to release an album on the infamous black metal label Cacophanus Records (Dimmu Borgir, Sigh), there is no doubt that Antestor are different to many other bands in the genre. Having once collaborated with notorious black metal drummer Jan Axel Blomberg (Mayhem) on 2005's 'The Forsaken' it is pretty obvious that Antestor are not afraid to step where others would fear to tread. In 2012, the band recorded and released this, their latest album. "Treacherous Domain" opens with haunting atmospheric whispers and sets the tone, sparking flashbacks to 'The Forsaken', leading into doom-ridden guitar riffs that drive full-throttle into the blistering heart of the song. "Unchained", the second track off the album, showcases the finesse of new drummer Jo Henning Børven. Pounding blast beats set the flow for the track, which pummels through to a twisting and melodic centre, which also gives the first taste of clean vocals. The guitar work of Robert Bordevik and Lars Stokstad come into their own, winding down from classic black metal riffing to finger defying solos. A short break appears in "TILFFLUKT", a short melodic instrumental that ends with a dark, resonating build up into "Benighted", arguably the best track on the album. Here is where Antestor show just why they are pioneers of the genre. The intricacy of the guitar work winds gracefully with frontman Ronny Hansen's coarse vocals, and the track is glued firmly together by Børven's drum technique. Sandwiched in the middle of the track is another atmospheric segment, embodying the spiritual and philosophical approach Antestor take in their music. 'Omen' is a breath of fresh air in the rather stale and stuffy room that black metal finds itself resting. Hopefully it won't take another hiatus for these guys to get back into the studio.
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