Antre hail from the UK cultural black metal hub(!) of Nottingham and, up to now, have had but one full length album (2019’s debut Void) and a couple of well received EPs to their name. They’ve decided to put the shitshow of 2020 behind them and begin 2021 afresh with their Dark Spectrum EP, which features 4 tracks of conceptual mayhem. Well, conceptual in the way that they’ve personalised the four tracks on this album to convey their inner emotions of fear, wrath, salvation and sanity respectively. An interesting prospect, we think you’ll agree!
So, does it work? The answer is yes. An emphatic fucking YES! Whilst the band are firmly rooted in the black metal genre – and this is the predominant style of music throughout the EP – there’s so much more to Dark Spectrum than mere lo-fi fumbling. The first two tracks, “Through These Dead Eyes” (signifying the emotion of fear) and “Become The Damned” (signifying the emotion of wrath) set off at a typically frantic pace and yet, as both tracks develop, other influences can clearly be heard. These other influences are slightly dial down the extremity, with a little thrash here, a little death metal there, but they make themselves known and the result is two viciously unrelenting tracks. Incidentally, the movement between the styles is sublime and never feels out of place; demonstrating a high level of musicianship and songwriting throughout.
Moving on to “Mask Of The Saviour” (signifying the emotion of salvation) and the mood of the album changes, taking on a more positive, almost euphoric feeling in the process. This is highly emotive stuff and it’s hard not to get swept away in the moment of this epic track – one that is certainly our favourite of the EP. “Cursed Existence” (signifying the emotion of sanity) rounds off the album nicely and while the previous track takes the listener to a higher, more positive place, this track calms things down to a more contented level. That’s not to say the music is calm (there are blast beats aplenty here), but it’s more a crescendo has been building and is now fully realised. Powerful, powerful stuff.
This is being branded as an EP and, to be fair, there are only four tracks on it. However, Dark Spectrum weighs in at a ball hair under 28 minutes. It’s worth remembering that one of the most influential albums of all time in extreme metal weighs in at 10 tracks and is a shade over 29 minutes, so when does an EP become an LP? We certainly don’t know. What we do know is that this is a very well written and well constructed tome. From start to finish, Antre deliver with every member of the band playing their part and every part is crucial. Dark Spectrum deserves to sit in any extreme metal, nay, any metal fan’s collection….it’s an absolute stormer! 9/10
Dark Spectrum is due for release on January 15th, 2021 – nip over to bandcamp and grab a copy!