EP review: Antre – Dark Spectrum

UK black metallers Antre find the darkness within on new EP, Dark Spectrum…

The soundtrack to Cyberpunk 2077 is probably one of the last places you’d expect to find a black metal band from Nottingham. And while a multi-million dollar game seems an odd fit for as resolutely underground an outfit as Antre, the four tracks on offer on this excellent EP reveal that their razor-sharp racket is brilliant in its own right, with or without any high-profile multimedia collaborations.

Through These Dead Eyes kicks things off, a brief atmospheric intro soon giving way to vicious blasting and the unrelentingly harsh vocals of Patrick MacDonald. It’s abundantly clear that Antre can summon forth the fiery furnaces and icy chill that have long fuelled black metal, but as the EP progresses, they prove that they can harness other methods of attack. Mask Of The Saviour channels everything from melodic death to hardcore to post-metal, even throwing in a spoken word section and piano outro, to create a distinctive sound that’s bold and overpowering.

Dark Spectrum borders on being a concept release, its four songs mapping a journey through a series of emotions that will be familiar to anyone dealing with their own negative feelings. There’s an admirable depth to these lyrics; Become The Damned explores how anger can go from being an armour to a prison, making someone easy prey for those offering false salvation in Mask Of The Saviour. With a final track called Cursed Existence, ending with the line A myriad of catastrophes experienced perpetually’, this release clearly isn’t intended to cheer anybody up – but its quality is good news for anyone looking for exciting new extremity.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Underdark, Winterfylleth, Deathspell Omega

Dark Spectrum is released on January 15 via Withered Hand.

READ THIS: The 13 greatest black metal albums of the 21st century

Posted on January 11th 2021, 12:03p.m.
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