The Antichrist Imperium - Vol II: Every Tongue Shall Praise Satan
Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings
Progressive Death Metal
7 songs (47:01)
Release year: 2018
Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings
Reviewed by Goat

For what seemed to be a one-off, The Antichrist Imperium clearly felt that they still had something to prove to those that saw the band as a side-project of former and current Akercocke members - fairly, when you consider that every member save for bassist Sam Bean (ex-The Berzerker and Mithras) has a solid connection to the band. Vol I, released in 2015, showed that there was a gap in the market for those that missed the older, heavier Akercocke and even that band's 2017 rebirth didn't change matters thanks to its newer, more progressive sound. Delightful, then, to have The Antichrist Imperium still with us, and Vol II offers more of the same; an alternate universe where Akercocke never left the nuns, sex, and Satan path, resulting in more songs about demonic rituals packed with death metal riffs.

Of course, the shades of light in the form of progressive trills and yearning clean vocals are still present and correct, but by and large this album is driven by Matt Wilcock's guitar and Sam Bean's snarls. Opener The Dreadful Hosanna pounds immediately in with galloping riffs and blasting drums (courtesy, as ever, of David 'Blast Vader' Gray) perhaps a little too straightforward even with the frequent atmospheric breaks but aided by the melodic vocals of Sam Loynes, which are more classic-Mendonca than ever, the song makes its seven minute length fly by. Death Ritual is even better, an old-school death metal stomper that rips along like Deicide pursued by demons, some spoken word and industrial clanging adding a subtle bit of character.

The best song present is probably Golgothian Hieros Gamos, an atmospheric prog death epic that moves from thrashy opening to a weirdly ritualistic vibe thanks to the hypnotic riffing that's strangely reminiscent of Enslaved, but then The Antichrist Imperium are most enjoyable when they're toying with their sound. The most out-there song is the Beherit-referencing Draw Down the Moon, a dark, almost blackened morass of twisted riffing and tortured vocals, but even throwing in an ambient piano interlude doesn't make it feel out of place or any less enjoyable, especially as it's followed by the soft, downright Deftones-y opening to Liturgy of the Iconoclast/Blood Sacrifice. And it works far better than whatever the thought was behind the near-constant, almost rapped monotone spoken word on Ceremonial Suicide Rites, which is distracting enough to spoil an otherwise solid enough song. Call it a failed experiment; in any case, although it's enough to make Vol I the superior album, Vol II still has plenty of solid death metal goodness to please those who wish Akercocke's old fires still blazed.

Killing Songs :
Death Ritual, Draw Down the Moon, Golgothian Hieros Gamos
Goat quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by The Antichrist Imperium that we have reviewed:
The Antichrist Imperium - The Antichrist Imperium reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
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