Despite not being one of the most fertile grounds for (exportable) Metal, with a few exceptions, if we compare it to a few other countries of the southern American lands, Perú always had a strong underground scene. And the few and very honorable exceptions are obviously, first and foremost, Mortem, and then Nahual, Anal Vomit, Reino Ermitaño, Goat Semen ... I could also add Black Angel and Morbid Slaughter, but not many more, that would be known by most of people listening to the extreme sounds within the genre.
Well, and now these guys we will speak about, raising from the city of Lima with a not so original name (if we take into consideration I can count seven other Antichrists on Metal Archives), who formed in 2004 but have only started releasing recordings from 2014. After not less than 4 demos and a single, Iron Bonehead Productions added them to their roster and they finally unleash their first full-length, on both CD and 12" vinyl.
I doubt the cover of 'Pax Moriendi' could confuse anyone's expectations. You could maybe doubt a bit on which branch of the sub-genre they chose. But anyone going to play this record would obviously think these guys are playing Doom Metal. And, effectively, this is Doom Death Metal with all the expected elements. From slow and crushing Death Metal riffs to reverb-loaded cavernous vocals, with a pretty dynamic flow despite of the preference for mid and slow tempos. They also include some slightly orchestral synth/keyboard parts to increase a bit the already gloomy atmosphere.
Song-writing is pretty simple and straight to the point, there's not much diversion from the usual traits of the genre in both the instrumental and vocal sides. Guitars go from the usual pounding and monotonous power-chords to more up-tempoed cavalcades. On the drums side, there's a big focus on the double bass in terms of rythm, which varies the speed depending on the guitar flow and kind of sets the actual mood. And the vocals are very low-tuned and gutural, and they more or less follow the flow of the song without too much alteration. They also include some more brutal stuff, including blastbeats and faster guitars, like the fourth track "Screams and Lamentations Drowned", that puts them closer to pure and more evil Death Metal.
So, on a general level, you can hear references especially from the first Skepticism era, definitely early My Dying Bride (demos and first EP) and Anathema (also demos and first EP) and maybe a bit of Thergothon and first Unholy (definitely not Winter, to whom I've seen them being compared). For those less common and more intense Death Metal parts, I could think of early Deicide and even Beherit (on a minor level, but for some reason they came to my mind).
Can't say it's bad at all. I'm sure it will catch some of the fans of the style quite easily. But I must also admit it doesn't offer many new, original or simply personal details after all the bands that made this sub-style explode. And it's not only that. It's also the fact of having the impression of being listening to mostly the same ideas and resources (riffs, vocal lines, flow ...) along these five tracks.
So, unfortunately, this is not sufficient to catch my attention more than a few times after having listened to all the classics of the genre. I would expect a small extra something at this stage. Maybe the recording was a bit rushed.
Gia Thanatos is a webzine dedicated to music for the apocalyptic times. No matter the scene or genre it comes from, and mainly chosen according to its author's taste.