RSS Feed

Sinful Birth

I Hate / Electric Assault (2017)
Rating: 9/10

I don’t know why it’s been six years since their 2011 debut album Forbidden World, but I’m glad that Swedish thrashers Antichrist are back doing what they do best.

The quintet – consisting of vocalist Anton “Steken” Sunesson, guitarists Gabbe Forslund and Filip Runesson, bassist Gobbe Henningsson and drummer Sven Nilsson – has a new album in the form of Sinful Birth, which is a typically scathing thrash assault that comes with dollops of old school nods to a time when Bathory, Kreator, Sodom, Voivod, Destruction et al were frightening our parents. With Sinful Birth, it’s as if Antichrist have extracted all the ingredients which made those bands so great and incorporated them into their own formidable train-wreck of an album.

This is blistering, scorching, sneering stuff, as elements of that early clanking Bathory style cavort with a sharper Teutonic edge to result in a record that is as swift as an executioner’s blade across the neck. From the off we have the blazing ‘Savage Mutilations’, with a no nonsense barrage of rasping vocal smirks amid a torrent of similarly wounding guitars which race with despicable aplomb.

Forget polish and technological tweaks, Antichrist belong very much in the mid-80s with this derisive brand of hyper metal. Steken’s vocal attack is very much of that vintage Snake (Voivod) yelp variety with a dry as a bone, squawking snap. But just when you think you’re simply in for a screeching, non-stop blast, we get hit by the churning, mid-tempo opening of ‘The Entity’. The deep cutting guitar is an abrasive yet accessible fizz to the nodding drum and plopping bass as the track reveals itself as a steely, galloping traditional metal trudge, until suddenly becoming brisk with a zipping, zany hurtle following the route of the previous track.

And that’s where Antichrist lie; a rocketing thrash act far removed from the gloss and generic patterns displayed by some of the more recent “new wave” of artists. Instead, we have the pulverising visitations of the edgy metallic rattle of ‘Under The Cross’, the lengthier blitzkrieg of ‘The Black Pharaoh’ with its hyper blasts, and the grotesque, foaming whoosh of the title track.

However, Antichrist is not a one-trick pony, and they come equipped with an even bigger weapon in the ten-minute instrumental entitled ‘Chernobyl 1986’, with its militant drum rolls and suspenseful, slow-building guitar buzz. The track builds into a truly raging manifestation, featuring what I assume is an original news broadcast on the catastrophic nuclear accident in Ukraine. The pace of ‘Chernobyl 1986’ doesn’t necessarily quicken akin to the other tracks. Instead, it’s an epic, measured affair displaying the incredible talent these guys have.

I was impressed by the latest Condor (Unstoppable Power) and Hellripper (Coagulating Darkness) records a great deal, but Sinful Birth takes the levels of thrash metal up a notch or two. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if someone slapped a speeding ticket on this one.

Neil Arnold

<< Back to Archive News
<< Back to Latest News