ANTZAAT – The Black Hand of the Father
The Belgian horde named Antzaat released this 5-track EP consisting of cold, windswept black metal harkening back to some of those gloriously epic releases that saw the light of day in the 90s. The strong point of the release is definitely the memorable melodies and the rather bleak and morose mood that underpins every track on it.
The musicianship is quite solid and the production nicely encapsulates and brings to the fore what Antzaat is all about. The vocals are pretty convincing as well, so no major complaints there. The majority of songs are catchy, but at the same time they offer very little in terms of challenging the listener, which, I suspect, is exactly what Antzaat were aiming for i.e. straight-up black metal devoid of experimentation and mind-fucks. "Circle of Leeches" has a grandiose aspect to it that I really dig while the title track, which is also the album closer, is one of the more intense, complex, and melancholy offerings on dislay here. Good stuff!
Despite the fact that the EP is anything but original or innovative, it does capture a wonderfully majestic albeit harsh atmosphere and has a lot of cool texture to it, so in that sense one could argue that it does exactly what any decent black metal offering is supposed to do. If you are on the lookout for a solid slab of dark and desolate piece of music and wish to lose yourself in a sickening fog for roughly 22 minutes, then look no further than "The Black Hand of the Father". It will serve your basic black metal needs and is worth exploring.