Featuring members and ex-members of In Mourning and October Tide, Ildlaante is 54 minutes of heavy, engaging, textured music.
This is a combination of metal, post-metal, sludge, and doom. These elements are layered together tightly and spun into a web of rich material for the listener to lose themselves in. Think a mix of Cult of Luna, Rosetta, Neurosis, Isis, etc.
The songs are well-written and show a good mastery of the post-metal build/release mechanic. The music manages to effortlessly blend heavier aggression with slow-burning atmosphere, creating songs that take the listener on a journey into themselves, away from the mundane realities of real life and into wild, exotic landscapes, the likes of which can be sampled on the album cover.
Resplendent melodies war with sledgehammer-heavy riffs, resolving their conflict somewhere in the no man’s land between the two. Once again it’s the merging of sludgy aggression and textured atmospherics that speak to me in Antarktis’ work, as they seem to have a knack for writing engaging heavy music that covers a range of bases.
Also, have I mentioned the heaviness and the aggression yet? No? How remiss of me…Yes, I like that Antarktis have this core of aggressive heaviosity to them; no matter how atmospheric or richly emotive the music is, the band frequently return to nasty vocals and brutal riffing. Of course, the two states aren’t mutually exclusive. Indeed, for the most part this textured delivery expresses itself remarkably well through the walls of distortion that the band unleash, fiercely demonstrating Antarktis’ talents in creating emotive and compelling heavy music.
Ildlaante is a debut album that’s firmly made its mark on my consciousness. It’s also definitely an album that may make a good impression on first listen, (it really does), but it’s on subsequent spins that it truly starts to reward you.
Listen, absorb, enjoy, repeat.