Okay…I know exactly what most of you Vault Hunters are likely thinking here. With a name like Antichrist, this has to be another one of those kvlt bands I’m always talking about. And once I mention that they hail from Peru, a certain segment of our readership will probably start hearing a chorus of goats in their heads. Both reactions are completely understandable, but both reactions are also flat the fuck out wrong: Antichrist play neither black metal nor war metal. Instead, they sound an awful lot like they could have come from…Finland?
Yep – I said Finland. Antichrist play a kind of hybrid funeral doom/death metal that sounds kind of like what might happen if Skepticism were Satanists instead of just sad. There’s more than a touch of Thergothon in their sound as well. And frankly, I’m just as surprised as anybody. Not that they’re an infallible source or anything, but Metal Archives only lists three death/doom and six doom/death bands from Peru.
However, to totally misappropriate a line from Casablanca: it doesn’t take much to see that countries of origin or genre designations don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world when an album is as uniformly excellent as Pax Moriendi. Someday you’ll understand that.
Ultimately, here’s what you need to know about Antichrist: they play slow, downtuned, epic death/doom–only one of the five songs on Pax Moriendi clocks in at under five minutes, while two cross the ten minute mark–with tastefully occult-sounding keyboard accents and impossibly guttural vocals. Pax Moriendi is an album that’s equally brutal and haunting. It drags you into the abyss for the first two-thirds of its run time, and then the 12+ minute closing track “You Will Never See Sun Light” carefully plucks your soul from your body, completely eviscerates it, and then Frankensteins it back together in a way that’s somehow both bestial and beautiful – a testament to the serenity found at the heart of suffering.
Pax Moriendi is available today via Iron Bonehead Productions. You can stream the full album below, and then go pick up a copy on either LP or CD.