The Rickety Old Shack

Magoth — Anti Terrestrial Black Metal

Magoth - Anti Terrestrial Black Metal, cover

At first glance, the title to this album inspired a sardonic curiosity more than anything. As with all genres, black metal has its own seemingly endless supply of sub-genres, and "anti terrestrial black metal" sounds like a style that a band might have actually tried to coin in earnest. Regardless, my attention was captured and the ensuing music more than made up for any reservations one might have over the title.

Hailing from Germany, Magoth sound like a fusion of modern black metal and acts like Seance and Gorefest. Well produced and mixed walls of guitars assault the listener as the material ebbs and flows between all-out aggression and more melodic, downtempo passages. The vocals are harsh and furious, remaining firmly in the realm of traditional black metal. The sound engineering on Anti Terrestrial Black Metal really deserves a lot of credit, the instrumentation is clear and crushing, while the vocals sit perfectly in the mix.

Anti Terrestrial Black Metal runs just under 50 minutes in length and contains very polished, well executed blackened death metal. The riffs and overall composition of each song on the record are quite varied, while still remaining within the band's chosen niche. Track 6, "Sola Scriptura," is absolutely crushing — easily the heaviest track on an album jampacked with intensity — but you also get groovy builds littered throughout the album. Magoth give just enough reprieve to appreciate how massive and heavy each track on this record is.

At first, I had very minimal expectations of this album; the world is replete with extreme metal bands featuring illegible logos, greyscale album covers and above-average musicianship. Magoth manage to distinguish themselves with their debut album, turning in a well-polished effort that does more than simply go through the motions. First and foremost, this is an extremely heavy album, but the melodic flourishes and slower moments give the listener time to breathe and digest everything before being assaulted again. The production is crisp and clear, providing a heaviness with nuance instead of just an ceaseless wall of noise.

As a proponent of all forms of extreme metal, I was very pleasantly surprised by this album. As mentioned above, my first impression of the album title was that it was a little over-the-top — maybe moreso because I'm a cynical jerk than through any fault of the band. But, also, the album's cover, at first glance, looks like it features an enormous walrus skull carved into a mountain... Okay, I am likely the problem here too... These minor, aesthetic points aside, the record absolutely slays; what matters is the music — and that component is first-rate. At a glance, this may seem like a paint-by-numbers metal album, but you would be very wrong.

Summary

New entrants onto the black / death metal scene, Magoth make their debut with an incredible showing on Anti Terrestrial Black Metal. Nine expertly crafted tracks of blackened, melodic savagery, this record may go under a lot of people's radar but it is absolutely worth a look. Fans of Seance and Necrophobic should especially enjoy this album.

Album Information

Release date: June 30th, 2017
Record label: Independent

Heergott — vocals, guitar
Shagnar — backing vocals, guitar
Havoc — bass
Widrir — drums

Track Listing

  1. Cleansing The Ancient Spirits
  2. Indoctrination War
  3. Der Toten Gesang
  4. Mental Fortress
  5. Thorns
  6. Sola Scriptura
  7. Sheol
  8. Requiem Deus
  9. Cosmic Termination

—by Derek

Published: October 13th, 2017