ANTICHRIST SIEGE MACHINE: Schism Perpetration
Release year: 2019
Label: Krucyator Productions
Hailing from the US and crushing skulls since 2016, the two-man band Antichrist Siege Machine are one of the younger purveyors of that niché genre of extreme metal known as bestial black metal or war metal. This niché genre – as you surely know – is basically built upon the foundation offered by Blasphemy, early Beherit, Abhorer and the likes. Primitive, guttural, animal and pounding, there’s no room for finesse or subtlety here.
However, unlike some of the more traditionalist exponents of the genre, such as Proclamation or Abysmal Lord, Antichrist Siege Machine are not content with just rehashing the sound and style of those classic groups; instead, they add a little something extra to the mix. In this duo’s case, they bring a whole lot of classic death metal, which makes Schism Perpetration, their debut full-length, sound heavier than much of the competition.
Offering just around 30 minutes of pounding, fiercely shredding and unrelenting death/black metal onslaught, it’s true that there’s nothing in and of itself unheard on Schism Perpetration. Acts such as Teitanblood have operated in the same field for years already, mixing considerable amounts of death metal into their primitively old school black metal. Still, there’s an elusive something in Antichrist Siege Machine’s style which I feel sets them slightly apart. Maybe it’s the extent to which they embrace a death metal form to their sound, sometimes venturing away from any kind of hybrid territory into pure old school death metal. Or maybe it’s all in my head.
Whatever the case, Schism Perpetration is a fine entry into the narrow field of war metal/bestial black metal. True to classic form, it’s not built so much of coherent riffs as a maelstrom of downtuned, shredding chaos; the drums blast and pound with reckless abandon; the guttural vocals are barely comprehensible even with lyric sheet in hand. It’s certainly music for the initiated, not for the random walk-in extreme metal hobbyist. But if you belong to that small, possibly knuckleheaded minority who just can’t get enough of this style, Schism Perpetration is exactly what the doctor prescribed.
Whilst the overall performance and outcome on Schism Perpetration is more than adequate, it must be admitted that there’s not much in terms of memorable songs, sections or riffs here. The songs are pretty much interchangeable, and I’m wagering most listeners won’t have favourite songs because they all sound pretty much the same. But then again – that’s standard fare in war metal for ya, innit!
So: not blazing any new trails or walking down unbeaten paths, Schism Perpetration is another meat-and-potatoes album in the genre. But a damn well one done at that.