ANTIQUUS SCRIPTUM – Ars Longa, Vita Brevis…

ANTIQUUS SCRIPTUM - Ars Longa, Vita Brevis

Origin: Portugal
Genre: Epic Black Metal Epic Metal Thrash Metal
Label: Pesttanz Klangschmiede
Year: 2013

Antiquus Scriptum is a quite old Portuguese band, that I only recently found out. They are the personal project of Sacerdos Magus, who formed them back in 1998 after his departure from Firstborn Evil. Since 1999 and the first demo “Al – Mahadan MCMXCIX“, many works of Antiquus Scriptum were released and re-released via different labels, including 3 full-length albums and various compilations. Actually some of these works were released without Sacerdos Magus permit! On the 25th of May 2013 his fourth full-length album “Ars Longa, Vita Brevis…” was released by the German label Pesttanz Klangschmiede and this was my first contact with this unusual band.

“Ars Longa, Vita Brevis…” consists of 2 parts: “Capítulo I – A Arte É Longa“, which includes the 9 basic songs of the album and “Capítulo II – A Vida É Breve“, with 5 songs (3 covers, the outro and a hidden track). Antiquus Scriptum have a very different and personal sound. Sacerdos Magus combined epic blackened metal with thrash metal in a very unique and original way. He is not moving from one style to the other, but his music is deeply influenced by both of these genres in a practically new genre! Epic thrash guitar riffs, orchestral synths and an unusual mixture of clean and brutal vocals, somewhere between black and thrash metal, are the basic “weapons” in Antiquus Scriptum’s armory. Keyboards have sometimes a symphonic soundtrack-like approach and other times give more space to the rhythmic thrash guitars. The album has a dark medieval atmosphere, moving in fast rhythms, with some mid-tempo and slower parts too. A few folk elements can also be found, especially in the instrumental songs. The majority of the lyrics is in English, but there are also Portuguese in some songs. The thematology of the album varies, dealings with religions and superstitions, cosmic theories, ancient myths and history, even with existential themes. You can find them all in the CD booklet.

Antiquus Scriptum has gained my respect with their originality. Having such a personal distinctive sound in this genre, isn’t easy at all. My only “objection” is the covers, which are somehow irrelevant with the atmosphere of the rest of the album. Anyway “Ars Longa, Vita Brevis…” is a very long album, with a total duration over 78 minutes, while the “basic album” lasts for almost 65 minutes, so I shouldn’t complain. It is released by Pesttanz Klangschmiede, who has also announced the re-release of all the band’s previous works in the near future. “Ars Longa, Vita Brevis…” comes in a standard jewel case edition limited to 1000 copies and a digipak version limited to 100 copies. Both editions include a 6-page folded booklet, with cover artwork deeply influenced by Hieronymus Bosch, while some original works of this great painter are used in the inner pages. You can visit the band’s official Facebook page for sound samples and more info.


Rating:  (8/10)

Antiquus Scriptum @ Facebook


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