Antestor - Omen
Bombworks Records
Symphonic/Unblack Metal
10 songs (51'11")
Release year: 2012
Reviewed by Jared
Album of the month

The Norwegian black metal scene has been exploding with great bands since the 90s. However, one band in particular has not gotten the credit it so desperately deserves. Being a black metal fan myself, I have always respected the genre immensely, taking metal to the most extreme heights. I merely am referring to black metal as an extreme style of metal and not the extreme anti-religious message that most emphasize within their music and lyrics. The band Antestor has been on the opposite end of this spectrum since their formation back in 1990. Antestor is a Christian black metal band. Now to some black metal fans, this may feel unsettling to hear. I am definitely someone against the idea of organized religion but I have never felt the need to decide what I think of a band simply because of their message or beliefs. I am happy to say that Omen is a wonderful successor to their album The Forsaken which was released back in 2005. Seven years later, it is much too long for this band to hide in the shadows of the black metal scene. The Forsaken easily became one of my favorite black metal albums of all time and with Antestor’s return with Omen, I am thrilled to review such a fantastic piece of music.

The album begins with a “roman style” guitar riff. The first track Treacherous Domain clearly shows that Antestor is back and in full force. At first listen, Antestor has gotten much heavier with their guitar playing but sticking to the traditional sound they created with The Forsaken. The keyboards also make for a great addition to the song. I found myself rewinding the part where the keyboard so casually graced its way into the track about seven or eight times before I could even complete the song. Even though it was very brief, it blew me away and reminded me how much I enjoyed listening to Antestor’s keyboards.

Unchained was one of the first songs the band had promoted with the new album. I had a chance to listen to it before actually getting my hands on the record itself. At first listen I was a bit skeptical about how the album would sound as a whole. About half-way through the song, I was completely caught off guard by Antestor’s clean singing. With previous records this was virtually unheard of. I’m very glad to say that Antestor’s journey into clean singing comes with great praise. It meshes perfectly in the music and sounds extremely beautiful. It is a great change for the band and I hope to see more future albums with this. The guitar work on the album has received much improvement over their predecessors. There are more instances of guitar solos than ever before. Being a guitarist myself, I’d like to say that Vernod might be one of my favorite black metal guitarists.

Do not let religious indifference stop you from enjoying what Antestor has created. It is a great album that deserves a lot of attention going into the New Year. The only thing I would like to see improved is the lengthy amount of time I had to wait to hear this album! After listening through the entire record, I can only hope that they will produce more great albums such as this over the next few years without such a large gap between releases. I never once felt any feelings of dissatisfaction while listening to Omen. It is sure to be an album that I will have difficulty taking out of my CD player for the next couple months.

Killing Songs :
Treacherous Domain, Unchained, The Kindling, All Towers Must Fall, Benighted
Jared quoted 93 / 100
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