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Retribution - "Corpus Antichristi Y3K" (CD)

Retribution - "Corpus Antichristi Y3K" CD cover image

"Corpus Antichristi Y3K" track listing:

1. Arcanius Maleficium
2. Opus Serpentis
3. Corpus Antichristi Y3K
4. The One
5. The Promised Land
6. Uinseanns Lullaby
7. Gobekli Tepe
8. The Ark of Annihilation
9. Like a Lamb Among Wolves
10. Trinity a New Start
11. Retribution

Reviewed by on April 21, 2014

"The tracks are symphonic without letting go of the extreme elements, creating a sound very much like '90s era Dimmu Borgir meshed with current day Septicflesh..."

Further expanding the Pitch Black Records roster beyond the borders of Cyprus comes Retribution, a Spanish outfit that offers up just about anything a symphonic black metal fan could want. Consisting of a staggering seven members, the band covers all the bases: epic opera elements, keyboards out in full force, guitar shredding, extreme vocals, and beautiful clean singing.

The title “Corpus Antichristi Y3K” might be a weird mouthful, but the killer cover art and high quality music more than make up for it. The band's very first full-length already operates at peak efficiency, knowing exactly what type of sound it wants and going for broke. The tracks are symphonic without letting go of the extreme elements, creating a sound very much like '90s era Dimmu Borgir meshed with current day Septicflesh, along with a dash of the over-the-top theatrics from the likes of Arcane Grail for good measure.

Arcanius Maleficium kicks off the disc with a string and keyboard intro, giving off a dark movie score vibe. After the mood setting track is done, Retribution heads straight into what fans of the genre want to hear. From theatrical voice-overs to blasting horns in the background, the audience will continuously be reminded of the best eras from the top tier bands in symphonic black metal.

The operatic female vocals found throughout the album offer a different sound than the traditional black metal direction, but don't let that give the impression that “Corpus Antichristi Y3K” isn't extreme metal first and foremost. There may be a clean component, but the music doesn't dip into the less heavy gothic territory at all. Everything remains dark, heavy, and, above all, epic at all points in time without ever letting up. Those few atmospheric moments that show up to advance the album's storyline - the Arabian setup at the beginning of “Promised Land” or the lullaby intro to “Uinseanns” - are short and don't interfere with the overall extreme sound.

Hopefully this debut is but one of many full-length releases to come, because Retribution is already rivaling the big dogs in the scene. If you want a heavy symphonic element in your music – without letting go of an ounce of heaviness – or if you dig anything along the lines of Carach Angren, Old Man's Child, or Dimmu Borgir, then “Corpus Antichristi Y3K” just might end up as your new favorite album.

Highs: One of the best symphonic black metal albums in recent memory - offering all the operatic elements without letting go of the brutality.

Lows: The only potential downside is that the music is somewhat derivative - it's high quality, but doesn't break the genre's boundaries.

Bottom line: Pack it up Dimmu Borgir, Retribution has got this!

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)