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Triumfall - "Antithesis of All Flesh " (CD)

Triumfall - "Antithesis of All Flesh " CD cover image

"Antithesis of All Flesh " track listing:

1. Atrium Mortis (5:17)
2. One With The Darkside Eternal (5:18)
3. Allegiance To Thy Fall (5:30)
4. Omega Overcasts The Presence (7:01)
5. Rise Of Pantheon (5:06)
6. Skies Are the Chains (6:17)
7. Within Their Midnight (7:04)
8. The Final Purification (9:06)

Reviewed by on June 30, 2010

"Another stale symphonic black metal album is the last thing the metal community needs and Triumfall does little to change that perception."

Symphonic black metal has given us moments of both astonishing masterpieces and laughable cheesiness akin to an eviler version of “The Final Countdown.” With every “With Strength I Burn” comes a Cradle of Filth song to balance things out. The toughest thing a black metal band can do is add synth and keyboards into their sound and still come off as menacing. Many have tried and few have succeeded in this task, but that hasn’t stopped Triumfall from attempting to put their own stamp on the genre. Coming from the frost-bitten tundra of Serbia, the environment seems perfect for some chilly symphonic black metal. Instead, what the band puts out with “Antithesis Of All Flesh” is a lukewarm debut album with few worthwhile attributes.

This album seems to be stuck in the mid-90s in songwriting and production quality. It’s one of those cases where “Antithesis Of All Flesh” would have made major shockwaves through black metal if it was released 15 years ago. By today’s standards, the muted guitar riffs and inconsistent volume levels of the instruments comes off as amateurish. One song will have the keyboards overpowering everything; in the next, the keys will be as low as the bass lines. This is a noticeable flaw that is usually only prevalent in one-man projects.

The music itself is nothing to write home about; just a steady stream of blastbeats and tremolo riffs, with raspy growls and repetitive synth work in the background. Every song sounds the same, making certain sections of the album a chore to get through. “Atrium Mortis” is a promising opener that sets the listener up for a supposedly-epic trek ahead, as clean guitars and deep whispers beckon forward into the fires of Hell. The fires continue to burn, but not even the hottest flames can keep someone tuned into the album for long.

Things start to pick up near the end of the album, as two back-to-back lengthy numbers show an ambitious side of Triumfall. “Within Their Midnight” starts out innocently enough, with low-key guitars, and then explodes into a dense lashing of the senses. The long outro with an emphasis on the keys work is a refreshing change of pace. “The Final Purification” throws an extended melodic break in the middle to break the song up, showing brief progression that is lacking on the rest of the album. These songs give the album some hope, but it’s too little, too late at that point.

With their corpse paint and ridiculous stage names, Triumfall seems like a relic from the cobwebs of the past. The only saving grace is that the band avoids outright Christian bashing and lame “I hate God” rhetoric in the lyrics. The afterlife and the darkness that lies beyond this existence seem to be the band’s favorite topics. No complaints on this end, as another album full of Satan praising is something black metal doesn’t need.

Another stale symphonic black metal album is the last thing the metal community needs and Triumfall does little to change that perception. “Antithesis Of All Flesh” will find a very select audience in passionate fans and evil worshipers alike, though even they might tire of the album quickly. The closing moments of the album show promise for something significant that never comes into fruition, an unfortunate side effect of a bland debut album.

Highs: Last two songs show progression, a few solid keyboard sections

Lows: Stale symphonic black metal that would have been compelling 15 years ago, brings nothing new to the table, repetitive songwriting, awful production

Bottom line: A lame debut album that sputters out of the gate and never gets back on its feet.

Rated 2.0 out of 5 skulls
2.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
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)