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Antre – Void

Antre
Void
by Erika Kuenstler at 10 March 2019, 5:49 PM

One of the pleasures of being a reviewer is serendipitously stumbling across bands that you have never heard of before, but which soon end up being an interesting addition to the ever-growing list of good music. And just one such surprise was “Void”, the debut full-length album of British Black Metal band ANTRE. Spanning close to three quarters of an hour this is a good first look at the potential of the band.

The album is bookmarked by its two longest songs, “Suffer the Light” and “Beyond these Skies”, and is skilfully broken up into three parts through the use of two shorter instrumental songs, “Denisovan” and “The Frozen Deep”, which create beautiful and serene breaks in the album, making the other songs more potent through the contrast. However, starting off the album, soft serene strums usher in “Suffer the Light” with all the languor of one awaking from a long slumber before swelling into a swirling hurricane of a melody. The music waxes and wanes gradually through the song, before taking a darker and more frantic turn in “Fear the Old Blood”, letting more Second Wave Black Metal influences seep through before briefly melding into a more Black ‘n Roll melody before once again tumbling back into a complete amalgamation of styles. After this whirlwind of a song, soft and stunningly beautiful acoustic guitar melody leads us gently into the first break in the album, lulling us back into the dreamlike state of the very first strains of “Void”. This ethereal feel is then completely shattered by “Into Oblivion”, a hard-hitting song. This galloping and aggressive pace is carried over into “Tyrant”, which carries just as much of a punch as its predecessor. “Guided by Nightmares” on the other hand sees a switch in tempo, with the song ebbing and flowing from harsher and more frantic parts to slower and more forlorn sections. After the second interlude of “The Frozen Deep”, we are immediately plunged into “Infinite Abyss”, a chaotic maelstrom that scintillates from melodic to brutal within seconds. Finally, we have the closer “Beyond these Skies”, which starts off with a very ponderous pace before bursting into one final thunderous onslaught before slowly fading back into the ponderous opening melody, bringing the song round full circle.

Overall, “Void” is a promising debut. Sure, the music is perhaps not genre-defining, but then again music doesn’t have to be anything ground-breaking to be good. The production of the album is however perhaps a bit muddy, leading to the feeling that the vocals are drowning in the background at times. Whilst a murky and drone-ish sound is a powerful tool in creating atmosphere, most of the songs feel as though they lack the power that a cleaner and more crisp sound could have given them. Tiny details like the very abrupt cut off in “Denisovan” followed by several seconds of silence also hints at less than ideal production of the album. But then again which new band has the cash for top-notch mixing and mastering? And considering that the band purportedly recorded the album themselves in an ancient church, the quality of the production can be justified. In short, “Void” has a lot of potential despite a few small flaws, and is nonetheless definitely worth checking out. It will be interesting to see where ANTRE will go once they have garnered a bigger name for themselves.

Memorability: 6
Song-writing: 7
Production: 5
Originality: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Suffer the Light
2. Fear the Old Blood
3. Denisovan
4. Into Oblivion
5. Tyrant
6. Guided by Nightmares
7. The Frozen Deep
8. Infinite Abyss
9. Beyond these Skies
Lineup:
Patrick MacDonald - Vocals
Dan Oldcorn - Bass
Barry Chadwick - Drums
Chris Marsland - Guitars
Donny Hopkins - Guitars
Record Label: Withered Hand Records
     


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