Sweden’s ANTICHRIST are shrouded in intrigue, especially now that they appear to have disappeared from all forms of social media; search for them in Google, click the Facebook link for ‘Antichrist (Swe)’ and it’s a dead end, no content anywhere But a little digging elsewhere (thank you, Encyclopaedia Metallum) has revealed the following: founded in 2005, the five-piece have members that have previously been part of bands such as THE ROTTING, EVISCERATED and AWAKEN HORROR. There has been one previous album release – 2011’s Forbidden Worlds – and a few other singles and demos to boot. Last Friday, sophomore record SINFUL BIRTH hit the shelves, apparently their first new material since the 2013 single Burned Beyond Recognition, which is also present here.
What is certainly not going to be of any intrigue is their musical style, which sounds like it’s been stuck in a mid 1980’s timewarp, this is out-and-out thrash metal, played at breakneck speed and comfortably able to whip up pit after pit after pit, especially the mosh-inducing Under the Cross and ferocity of the title track. It doesn’t start that way at all, opening Instruments of Sadism actually quite an eerie, grating track but the minute it segues into Savage Mutilations then, appropriately, all hell breaks loose, and it doesn’t let up from there. The standout track is The Entity, which showcases a brilliant drumming display from Sven Nilsson and threatens to take you apart cell by cell with the utmost of glee. The production is also incredibly raw and untamed which adds a further snarl to Sinful Birth, it’s not sugar-coated in the slightest and hidden behind any sort of special effects.
However, the album seems to prioritise pace over finesse and whilst this is something you CAN get away with, it would be good to hear more of the intricacies than just an incredibly fast assault. Secondly, A. Sunesson‘s vocals aren’t anything special, indecipherable and getting lost in the mix all too often. Thirdly, and perhaps most telling, there are far better thrash albums out there that have been released this year, let alone in general. Nothing really sticks on Sinful Birth, and the decision to add a 10-minute instrumental in the form of Chernobyl 1986 doesn’t work either – it could do with being about half the length.
Put simply, if you like your thrash metal as straightforward as it comes and regard Reign in Blood as the greatest album of all time, then you may well find quite a bit to enjoy from Sinful Birth and ANTICHRIST. If, however, you’re looking for something a bit more deft and technical than material that wouldn’t have even made a SLAYER rarities collections, then you’re probably not going to get much out of this at all.
Sinful Birth is out now via I Hate Records.