Spite – “Antimoshiach” (Invictus Productions)
Antimoshiach is the debut album from black metallers Spite. It translates as Anti-Messiah which conveniently spells out which side of the barbed wire fence these blasphemers stand. But such is the sonic storm whipped up here that it’s far from apparent that this is all the work of one man, Salpsan. He may be known to some through his involvement with Horns & Hooves, and Salpsan created Spite as a solo venture. Plenty of solo projects escalate into fully fledged bands, usually around the time when the appeal of playing live starts to tug at the heels like an over excited pup.
For now though Spite is all Salpsan, as it has been since the release of the one-track demo Desecration Rites. The intervening five years has seen a few more single track releases but Antimoshiach is the first chance to really get to the blackened heart of Spite.
The album isn’t the longest, 40 minutes sufficient for all eight tracks. Salpsan performs with a crusty croak that sounds as though he’s locked deep in the bowels of some long since forgotten chamber. Spite’s impassioned commitment to Lucifer is such that you start to believe the person twiddling the dials in the recording studio has horns protruding through the top of his grizzled scalp.
While good in parts, ultimately Antimoshiach just falls a little short in places. The suffocating deathly atmosphere isn’t as thick as perhaps first suggested. There are plenty of bodily kicks that help invigorate a song but equally at times the riff patterns don’t quite come off and the dramatic delivery is weakened because of it. Perhaps the tone at times is more spooky rather than truly sinister. The tempo is consistent throughout, mid-paced black charges, but possibly lacking the true killer twists and turns to really elevate the album above the standard fare.
It has its moments though, a storming riff passage towards the end of ‘False Magic,’ and the opening section of ‘Upon Funeral Stone’ among them. Whether this is a record you’d return to very often is arguable but having room to manoeuvre is no bad thing and Spite have the potential build on a strong but not quite standout start.