Departure Chandelier - Antichrist Rise to Power
Nuclear War Now! Productions
Black Metal
8 songs (34:22)
Release year: 2019
Bandcamp, Nuclear War Now! Productions
Reviewed by Goat

Featuring members of both American perverts Ash Pool and Québécois purists Akitsa, Departure Chandelier is a project with a very blunt message - that Napoléon Bonaparte truly was the Antichrist that he was accused of being (by, amongst others, the Russian Orthodox Church for being too nice to Jews). The result is a black metal album that uses the genre's usual Satanic tropes but cleverly redirects them towards the worship of the dead Corsican. There's none of the embellishments of, say, Peste Noire, no wacky folky or trap influences coming to bear. As synth-heavy intro Napoleon's Sword and the presence of the Canadian(s) suggests, this is instead pure old-school black metal, raw and brittle, with what melody there is coming from the synths (Life Escaping Through the Candle's Smoke, for example) so much so that it feels like a relic unearthed from twenty years ago rather than a modern black metal album.

And it's interesting that one of the few pieces of information about this album is that it was recorded in 2010, coincidentally also when the Akitsa half of their 2013 split Arraché à la mort, forcé à vivre et mourir à nouveau with Ash Pool was recorded. The bands' then meeting of the minds seems to have been rich and quite why they chose to sit on Antichrist Rise to Power until now despite releasing a demo in 2011 and a separate split with Blood Tyrant in 2017 is knowledge kept only to them. It makes for a fine listen, however, the oddly grandiose yet primitive riffs of Forever Faithful to the Emperor hypnotic like the genre's best, not least thanks to the wonderfully atmospheric synth backdrop. Some moments are definitely better than others, not helped by the general similarity to the material and the lack of variety in the snarled vocals but songs generally rattle on well enough and at just over thirty-four minutes you couldn't accuse Departure Chandelier of being long-winded.

If anything, a little more time gifted to some of the musical themes here would have worked well, the slower, more restrained Departure Chandelier building up initially almost feeling like an interlude before launching into a blackened, spellbinding rumble that uses its six minutes excellently. Other, shorter pieces don't always have that impact, despite the likes of A Sacrifice to the Corsica Antichrist and especially Re-Establish the Black Rule of France adding enough variety merely by increasing the focus on synths to the point where comparisons to early Blut Aus Nord become viable. Not a revolutionary album, then, but a curio that draws attention with its odd subject matter and keeps it with the music therein.

Killing Songs :
Life Escaping Through the Candle's Smoke, Departure Chandelier, Re-Establish the Black Rule of France
Goat quoted 75 / 100
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