ANTIQUUS SCRIPTUM – Abi in Malam Pestem / In Pulverem Reverteris

ANTIQUUS SCRIPTUM - Abi in Malam Pestem

Origin: Portugal
Genre: Black Metal Epic Black Metal
Label: Pesttanz Klangschmiede
Year: 2002 2014

And the countdown to Antiquus Scriptum’s discography seems to reach an end with the re-release of their debut full-length album! This unique Portuguese one-man-band, the personal project of Sacerdos Magus, was formed in 1998 and has released many works, including 4 full-length albums, all in limited editions. Their fourth album “Ars Longa, Vita Brevis…” was released via the German label Pesttanz Klangschmiede, a label that decided to re-release professionally the first two full-length albums of Antiquus Scriptum. First the second album “Immortalis Factus” from 2008 and then their debut “Abi in Malam Pestem” from 2002. Before these two albums, the band’s third album “Conclamatum Est” from 2010 was also professionally re-released in 2013, this time via the Austrian label Talheim Records. Since I’ve never heard of this band before, I happened to listen to their entire discography in reverse order, something quite unusual…

What is completely certain, is that Antiquus Scriptum is one of the most different and recognizable bands around and it’s totally unexplainable why they were kept hidden and underestimated all these years! Their albums were each one released repeatedly in several limited editions, some of them in CD-r, others in bootlegs, etc. Anyway the result is that they never got the distribution they deserved. And maybe the other 2 albums are not that old, but their debut is now 12 years old and it’s a shame it didn’t get the credit and recognition it deserved back in its actual release date. Like the original release of “Abi in Malam Pestem” in 20o2, this new version includes both the 8 songs of the main album and the 4 songs of the demo “In Pulverem Reverteris” from 2000 as bonus tracks. So the total album duration is over 57 minutes. In this album the band line-up consists of 3 more members, who helped in keyboards, guitars, female vocals and choirs.

Even if it’s less complex compared to his newer works, ”Abi in Malam Pestem” is still an album difficult to categorize. Sacerdos Magus is obviously influenced by various metal genres, but he filters everything in a very personal style. His debut work is a mixture of black metal and epic metal in general, with fewer symphonic and folk elements than his next albums. Guitar riffs are to closer to the typical epic black metal sound, less sharp and technical than his current thrash metal influenced sound. Distorted guitars are the leading instrument in the orchestrations, accompanied by epic melodic synths and drums, that create a somehow “fuzzy” rhythmic layer in the background. Acoustic passages and some soundtrack-like elements add a bigger variety in the album, making it easier to listen. Their unusual vocals is one of the band’s trademarks, since Sacerdos sings in a unique personal style, somewhere between black metal screams and epic clean vocals. The production is not that clear compared to the next works, but it’s quite good for a debut album and it serves perfectly the band’s dark atmosphere. And this unique atmosphere is what counts most in this case. It’s not the most melodic work you will ever listen to, nor the most technical or well produced, but it has a very different sound that drags your attention. The 4 tracks of “In Pulverem Reverteris” are moving in the same style with the main album, with a somehow rawer sound. Antiquus Scriptum sing in various languages in this album, including English, Latin, German and others…

Abi in Malam Pestem” was a very promising debut from a band that has forged through the years a very personal style. Now that all Antiquus Scriptum full-length albums are properly released, I hope Sacerdos Magus releases something new, reflecting the current state of the band. “Abi in Malam Pestem / In Pulverem Reverteris” is released by Pesttanz Klangschmiede both in standard jewel case CD limited to 1000 copies and in a limited to 100 copies digipak edition CD. The album comes with an 8-page booklet that includes both cover artworks, one for the album and one for the demo. Both of the covers are paintings by the 15th century Flemish painter Jan Van Eyck. You can visit the band’s official pages below for more details.

dimiarch

Rating:  (8,5/10)

Links:
Antiquus Scriptum @ Facebook
Antiquus Scriptum official blog

ANTIQUUS SCRIPTUM - In Pulverem Reverteris

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