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The Evolving Antichrist Imperium

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There was something really special about the crazed period of hyper creativity in the mid-2000s. Culturally speaking, the first half of a decade acts as an extension of its predecessor — think of all the harsh colors and angular polygons which leaked from the late 1980s into the first half of the 1990s — the canonical “2000s” feel in music didn’t quite find itself until around 2005. The end of futurism and the embracing of a new age. It was an age when bands like England’s Akercocke reigned supreme, releasing their then-final albums Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone and Antichrist: two of death metal’s most uncomfortably bizarre and cartoonish releases which stand alone in the genre canon.

Looking back, though there is the argument that “Akercocke is Jason Mendonca,” the future work of guitarist Matt Wilcock in The Antichrist Imperium speaks otherwise. Listen to an exclusive premiere of “Golgothian Hieros Gamos” below.

Toward the end of a new decade, The Antichrist Imperium’s second album Volume II – Every Tongue Shall Praise Satan (quite the mouthful) taps back into Wilcock’s (and drummer David “Blast Vader” Gray’s) strange sense of progressive, chaotic death metal. Jumping from style to style, section to section, and volume to volume, The Antichrist Imperium’s new work feels like both an extension of Wilcock’s former career, but also carries an unbridled personality all its own. Over time, especially taking frontman Samuel Loynes’s equally manic performance into consideration, The Antichrist Imperium’s presence is definitely one of growth, building from what could ostensibly considered as Wilcock’s “suspended animation” from 2007 to 2015.

As unfair as it would be to simply say that The Antichrist Imperium sounds like an extension of Akercocke, an argument could be made that this is simply how Wilcock writes music, especially with drummer David Gray. Unfortunately there is the element of relegation and comparison, and, yes, Akercocke will be namedropped in any coverage for the band in perpetuum, but also… so what?

Volume II – Every Tongue Shall Praise Satan is out June 29th on Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings.

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