Hailing from Finland, today we have Antipope and their very diverse and well crafted third full-length release “House of Harlot”. Mixing almost every genre available to them, the band delivers a very interesting and diverse release that aims to appeal fans of Gothic, Dark, Doom, Heavy and some Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal fans.
With the opening track “House of Harlot”, we are treated to powerful melodic guitars and atmospheric keyboard, very similar to bands like Ancient Drive and other early 2000’s Gothic/Melodic Metal bands. This quickly changes into some more old-school Gothic music and then it all blends together very nicely. This is just a little taste on how Antipope combines many elements into their own brand of Metal.
The vocals of Mikko Myllykangas are excellent through this release, being clean, harsh, screams, etc. they are all very well placed in the song structures. Songs like “A Thing so Vile” and “Communion” feature so many different changes between them that might make them very chaotic at first, but once you get into the band’s sound, they are just excellent in interweaving genre influences unlike any other band we have heard in the last few months.
For people looking into more ‘straight-forward” tracks, “The World Coming Down” is a very well balanced Gothic/Melodic Metal track that features soaring vocal lines and very catchy guitars. For a more theatrical and melancholic feeling, “To a Passer-by in Black” just fills the spot with its atmospheric keyboards and clean guitars with the occasional speed-ups.
Our favorite track of this release is the multi-faceted and super catchy “The Man We Would Like to Hang”. In this track, the guitar solos are very well crafted and the vocal sections are super effective, the rhythm guitar work is excellent and keeps everything fresh and exciting. This song also features some aggressive Death/Black sections mixed in-between some clean vocal parts that make the whole vibe of the song very similar to Primordial’s combination of vocal styles with excellent guitar work.
Closing the album in a very deranged way (did you expected any other way?), we have “Happiness in Crime”. This very powerful ballad gives you that nice feeling of satisfaction after you partied the night away and the evening winds down with power ballads. The guitars are excellent and the vocals are still very unpredictable, just to be masterfully adorned by some atmospheric keyboards.
In general, we have to say that Antipope has released one of the most diverse and exciting albums of 2011. You can’t really predict what is coming next, and this makes this album much more excellent in our opinion. The songwriting of “House of Harlot” is brilliant and it shows in every single track. If you are looking for something fresh and very different, get this release and be sure to give it more than a few spins for it to fully sink in.
|Band: Antipope||Album: House of Harlot|
|Label: Violent Journey Records||
Release: November, 30th, 2011
|Genre: Dark Metal||