I made my first audio contact with Spite after I listened to the promo I got for the release of their first full length, “Antimoshiach“, which came out a couple of months ago on the Irish label Invictus Productions.
I am usually quite reluctant when it comes to black metal made in USA (I hate the term USBM to the core), maybe out of prejudice, but there are some bands which I really like a lot.
When I read in the promo sheet that Salpsan had been at some point a live member of Negative Plane (one of the US bands on my “I like” list) and Occultation, my curiosity was of course triggered so I eagerly listened to the promo material (and almost immediately ordered the CD).
Not knowing what to expect from a record or a band you did not hear about is always a great thing, I have discovered many good bands/albums that way. In this case, it was the same, honestly. From the very first chords of the opening track, “The Devil’s Mynian“, to the very last beats of the title track, “Antimoshiach“, this album is one hell of a journey into the black metal realm which combines both old and modern vibes in its song structures.
This is exactly what I am looking for in nowadays music: a fresh, violent and “shocking” opus, somehow different from all the average satanic releases which put more emphasis on the image than on the music. Of course one could detect in Spite‘s music some very distinctive hints from the past, (some Bathory here, some old Darkthrone there or even Mortuary Drape, if we look at the bonus track “Moon“) but that is only made with subtlety and gives the album an aura of nostalgia, combined with the boldness and cheekiness of 2018.
Salpsan, the guy behind the Spite moniker, is a musician who has been active in the underground for quite some time in bands like Impure and Horns & Hooves. He formed Spite in 2010 and until now he released a split and one EP, “Trapped in the Pentagram“, a 7” which came out 3 years ago via Iron Bonehead Productions.
With few exceptions I like my metal fresh and black, and this exactly what Spite has done on this debut album. The 8 tracks featured on the CD contain an interesting mixture of old black metal and modern sounds, while keeping the true spirit there, alive, in each of the songs.
Drawing its inspiration from the Judaic religion, Antimoshiach is a blasphemous album, just like any real black metal should be. The whole content is rigorously perverted, from the icon-like cover to the ancient scroll-like looking booklet, so a smell of old is reeking from the songs of this piece of black art (as proof, even the digipack cd is reversed, opening from left to right instead of the regular way).
The songs are very addictive, most of all due to the tremolo picking of the guitars and the impressive drumming, which are not abused just for the sake of it – the slower parts with double bass drumming add a certain groove to the mix, so involuntarily you’ll find yourself moving your head quite often during the 42 minutes of this record.
The bass guitar makes its presence heard frequently due to a good production, which is quite rare when it comes to a harsh black metal record like this one.
Salpsan‘s voice is just perfect on this album, going from some “lunatic” inflections to rather desperate tones, while spitting forth the venom towards god and its creation.
Rarely the tracks exceed 5 minutes, (excepting the title track which, with its 8 minutes, represents the quintessence of the whole album) so they are easily absorbed and enjoyed by the curious listener.
You do not need multiple listening sessions for the album to grow on you, as it sometimes happens with other records. From the very beginning you’ll be hooked by this brutal journey back in time, when good quality black metal ruled the world and when the anti-christian messages were as shocking as ever.
The Christ doth live no more
The savior of Jerusalem is gone forever more
Another crucifixion, another final breath
Another chance to weep for Yeshuah as he dies a Second Death”
Overall, this debut album is one of the best albums of the year for me and it’s a real pleasure to come back to it once in a while, as it brings that necessary mouthful of fresh air exactly when I need it the most.
Recently Invictus Productions announced that the LP version of the record will be released on the 18th of June so if you hadn’t bought your CD copy until now, make sure you’ll grab the vinyl as soon as possible and witness the coming of the Anti-Messiah. It will definitely be spectacular!
“Kneel before his presence
Touch his nascent horns
Crack the Shield of Abraham
Slaughter with apocalyptic scorn”
Spite – Antimoshiach track list:
1. The Devil’s Minyan
2. The Shield of Abraham
3. Vision of the Merkabah
4. False Magic
5. Second Death
6. Upon Funeral Stone
7. The Hope (Of Coming Armageddon)
9. Moon (Mortuary Drape cover)