Spite – Antimoshiach Review

Everyone has records they prefer to play in certain settings. Some almost demand to be heard through headphones or a hi-fi system, while others sound just fine through Bluetooth speakers or the stock system of say, a beat-up 2005 Toyota Camry. Antimoshiach, the debut full-length effort from New York black metal act Spite, falls into the latter category. For the most part, the album is a clean, riff-filled production that takes an approach of rapid aggression not unlike that of Swedish band Craft in their Fuck The Universe era.

Release date: February 2, 2018. Label: Invictus Productions.
Right from the start, Spite shows a lot of potential for an enjoyable ride through well-traversed territory of blasphemic, high-energy black metal; and for a short period of time, that is indeed the case. A promising start is found in “The Devil’s Minyan,” a high-energy opener that showcases the band’s central anchor in taking a black metal approach to traditional Hebrew melodies. It proves an interesting take on what more theistic-based black metal groups have been doing for years: take elements of Abrahamic religions—in this case the Jewish faith—and pervert them to create their sacrilegious art. It’s an interesting perspective, and Spite apply it well. The riffs fit well with the theme, and it’s refreshing to hear some bass in a release of this style. There are some really good things happening in the melodies, and while an earlier allusion was made to Craft, the band certainly have a style all their own. The album closes with the eponymous “Antimoshiach” that features a prolonged instrumental introduction with a bit of said signature riffing, incorporating their traditional influence with a furious flurry of tremolo picking. As enjoyable as the guitar work is, the overall sound still seems to be missing something that could take the track to the next level.

Yet something gets lost in the execution of the record. The songs are terrific, but they feel held back. Antimoshiach lacks a very important element: dynamics. The album starts strong but then plateaus quickly. Everything that should work on the album falls a bit flat, largely due to it sounding so similar from start to finish. Sure, this works for some bands, but Spite are covering much larger territory than this approach can contain. It sounds great for a few listens in the car, but the album comes across as a bit stale and difficult to become fully immersed in as soon as headphones are used; the work is put in to construct a strong skeleton of musicianship and songwriting, but it lacks the meat of a fully-realized composition. If Antimoshiach was to open up a bit, maybe breathe a little more, it would have the potential to be a very good record, as opposed to just another “solid” release amongst a sea of other enjoyable but overall unremarkable black metal albums.

Posted by Ryan Tysinger

I listen to music, then I write about it. On Twitter @d00mfr0gg (Outro: The Winds Of Mayhem)

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