Verminous: The Curse of the Antichrist

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Verminous: The Curse of the Antichrist
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Verminous: The Curse of the Antichrist
Death Metal
Blood Harvest Records
August 9th, 2013
Release length: 8:16
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Sweden’s Verminous formed back in 2002 after the fall of Delve. In 2003 they released the EP Smell the Birth of Death through Nuclear Winter Records, and that same year their début album Impious Sacrilege through Xtreem Music. Due to health issues, the band went on hiatus until 2010, then issued their long overdue follow-up release, The Unholy Communion, earlier this year. They are still signed with Xtreem Records, but a brand new seven-inch vinyl EP, The Curse of the Antichrist, has found a home with Blood Harvest Records. Consisting of three songs, two of which being cover tracks, does this new smaller release pay respect to those well established bands, or is it not even worth it for the new original composition?

“Curse of the Antichrist” starts this EP with a familiar eighties b-movie Horror film score performance with a voice taken from an audio sample that is deep, loud, and rather hard to make out clearly. This introduction creates a truly creepy start before the drums hammer in with a deep guitar and bass presence. The faster pace mixes some Thrasher aggression with brief groove filled passages, both with a good deal of hostility and a sinister tone that will have you banging your head along in obedience until the church bells signal the end.

The first cover is the very short Nuclear Assault track “Hang the Pope.” Verminous does a good job at maintaining that hint of Thrash from the original, but still maintains that sinister atmosphere that makes the faster vocals and music become far more intense, especially as the performance grows richer the further in you get. Then there’s the Nihilist cover of “Revel in Flesh,” which starts with that sample from the film Platoon that also appeared in a Children of Bodom track. This song relies heavily on the drums, using the clicks of the two-step bass kicks to keep the pace alive against some solids guitar riffs that sound heavy and burdening, though don’t really stand out much until the guitar solo. It’s a nice performance that sticks rather close to the original, but the extra edge the blunt distortion gives the performance does help it rival the source material a bit.

At not even nine minutes long, this is more a piece for the devoted fans and collectors than a casual listener of the Death Metal style. However, if you’re willing to splurge, this is definitely a release well worth acquiring. The Curse of the Antichrist gives you a truly creepy new composition that will peak the interest of Death Metal fans everywhere, and more than likely send them on a hunt for the band’s earlier material as well. The additional two cover songs ends up a nice little bonus for throwing a good chunk of money towards this recording as well. But, if you’re already well aware of Verminous, and even have The Unholy Communion from earlier this year, consider this the perfect companion piece for it, especially if you got any enjoyment from that album whatsoever.

01. Curse of the Antichrist – 4:03
02. Hang the Pope (Nuclear Assault cover) – 0:40
03. Revel in Flesh (Nihilist cover) – 3:33
Initial Pressing Score: 9/10

Verminous (band)
Verminous

Digital review copy of this release provided by Blood Harvest Records.