Released: 2015, Invictus Productions
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Out of the obsidian depths comes new Swiss blackened death upstarts ANTIVERSUM, with their debut demo “Total Vacuum”: an aptly-titled howl in a great, dark void.
Four tracks-long, “Total Vacuum” bears the hallmarks of traditional black metal aesthetics in being unnervingly violent in everything from each instrument's sonic property, to the murky, cavernous production. It is the latter, however, which proves one of the key drawbacks to this debut release. The murderous lurch of opener “Finis Aeternitum” sounds wickedly bleak, but undefined, whilst the blasts of “Total Vacuum” are almost lost. It is as if the microphone used to record this demo was placed at the other end of a very large concrete-walled room – drenched in reverb.
One can certainly see the overriding purpose in creating such a suffocating atmosphere, but it almost takes precedent over the music – and what ANTIVERSUM have produced is good. It's dark, heavy and the vocals have a particular menacing quality to it that adds the cherry on top of this proverbial obsidian cake. Yet the production both hamstrings it and homogenises it; where the band mix fast with slow, the lack of clarity makes each a little less discernible.
Regardless, there is some strong evidence on display that ANTIVERSUM will be rising as the future nears - “Total Vacuum” has four well-written songs on offer for those that like their metal exceptionally cold, bleak and vacuous. Take this knack for composing blackened death metal and couple it with slightly cleaner, fuller production and the debut will sound immense.
Review by Lee Carter