Antichrist Siege Machine - Vengeance of Eternal Fire (2024)Release ID: 51519

Antichrist Siege Machine - Vengeance of Eternal Fire (2024) Cover
Saxy S Saxy S / May 02, 2024 / Comments 0 / 0

I am no expert when it comes to war metal. It's a style of music whose defining feature is not found within its instrumentation and performance, but rather the vocal themes. In that way, war metal has more in common with gothic and emo music than its similar North clan genre partners. Typically, I really enjoy these types of records, but I have reviewed a grand total of *checks notes* zero war metal albums before Antichrist Siege Machine's Vengeance of Eternal Fire. Not even Teitanblood has crossed my radar before this.

And according to other reviewers, Vengeance of Eternal Fire is not anywhere close to Teitanblood. This is much closer to the original War metal album experience. Short songs, unrelenting tremolo guitar and blast beats, and theme's of nihilism, death and the occult. You could be very well excused if you thought that Vengeance of Eternal Fire was a grindcore album.

Like with a lot of grindcore (which I also have not listened to very much of), the pure cacophony of the soundscape is very important and has the ability to rile up anybody's adrenaline. And Antichrist Siege Machine are fortunately able to do so with some decent production. The percussion is a little bit overwhelming, especially the snare drum, but overall, the blast beat formula is prominent, but not the focal point at any given time. 

The compositions, like with grindcore, are increasingly sporadic and unfiltered. The way in which songs can quickly swing between slow, almost doom riffs and percussion to ferocious black metal without so much as a warning is isolating. The record can barely finish what it has to say before carrying on to the next point of contention without ever giving listeners a definitive answer to the last statement/question. And with the album moving at such a frantic pace, none of the themes are allowed to really say anything. Either that or the sheer sound of the music is so overwhelming because everyone is shouting in your face at the same time demanding your attention. 

And I kind of get it: it's war metal. "It isn't supposed to be super in depth or philosophical. It's about fucking war! War is bad, it leaves nothing but death and destruction in its wake. What more needs to be said?" A valid point, but I kind of expect, even for as meat and potatoes of an album as Vengeance of Eternal Fire may be, that it has a little bit more to say than "Unga-Bunga caveman beat Oogle-Boogle caveman with stick."

Best Songs: Sisera, Prey Upon Them, Scalding Enmity

Sonny Sonny / April 28, 2024 / Comments 0 / 0

Antichrist Siege Machine are relative newcomers to the war metal scene, their debut EP hitting the stands in 2017, but they have taken the genre by the scruff of the neck and laid down some pretty brutal stuff in the seven years since. With latest album, Vengeance of Eternal Fire, ASM have really hit their groove with a release that delivers an all-out aural battery without the muddy production values that robbed so many of their predecessor's releases of any clarity. Yes, I know that muddy, chaotic sound was part of the appeal of early war metal releases from the Blasphemies of this world and I love that archetypal sound too, but here, thirty-five years on from those earliest canoniacal war metal classics, the genre has moved on from that and the best modern war metal acts don't need to hide behind poor production because they have the chops to produce brutal and blasphemous sounds whilst allowing the listener to actually hear everything they are doing.

Of course the basis of war metal is an unholy alliance of death and black metal, with varying proportions of each within the mix. ASM tend towards the more death metal end of the war metal spectrum, dropping occasionally into quite "groovy" slower death metal riffing, just enough to break things up and provide a little variety, but not so much that it distracts from the overarching blitzkrieg that comprises the vast majority of Vengeance of Eternal Fire and shouldn't be seen as any kind of treasonous act against war metal orthodoxy. The drums sit fairly prominently in the mix, so the blastbeats are given plenty of focus, almost as much as the blistering riffs. Interestingly drummer Scott "S.B." Bartley is also the vocalist, so it must be quite a feat when playing live for him to sing whilst launching salvo after salvo of blastbeats. His vocals actually seem to sit lower in the mix than his drumming, thus giving them a distant, buried feel, despite their bellicose viciousness. The high production values allow the listener to distinguish the riffs far easier than on old-school war metal releases and to appreciate the finer details which may have been lost in the past.

I must say, as much as I love OSWM, I do like the fact that a band like ASM employ a cleaner production style, which does make appreciation of the nuances of war metal much easier - and I say this with no ironic intent because it is obvious that, despite the inherent (almost) continuous blasting and breakneck riffing, that these guys really have great command of their instruments and their overall sound is tight, aggressive and technically solid. At the end of the day, they write killer riffs, have a powerful delivery and are extremely capable of capturing the witheringly blasphemous intent of true war metal. For me this is the band's best release to date and call me heretic if you must, but I think this is capable of standing against the very best that war metal has to offer. To (mis)quote the intro to the Fallout 4 video game "war metal... war metal never changes". Except when it does!


Release info

Release Site Rating

Ratings: 2 | Reviews: 2


Release Clan Rating

Ratings: 1 | Reviews: 1


Cover Site Rating

Ratings: 1


Cover Clan Rating

Ratings: 1

Vengeance of Eternal Fire
The North
Black Metal

War Metal

Voted For: 1 | Against: 0

Antichrist Siege Machine chronology