By Craig Haze
Impiousness and mayhem reign supreme on Through the Cervix of Hawwah, the new album from Canada’s Antediluvian. The band’s first release for new label Profound Lore is an ordure-encrusted delight for anyone eagerly anticipating their final appointment with Minos and his serpentine coils. A bilious purge of abhorrent and malformed death metal flecked with abscessed blackened noise, Antediluvian produce exactly the kind of sacrilegious racket you’d expect from a band whose last release was titled Revelations in Excrement.
The band’s new album comes off the back of a series of demos, splits and EPs that were all stamped with the cloven-hoofed seal of underground approval. Occult-heavy, Antediluvian’s work marks them as fervent purveyors of extramundane narratives—but while those earlier releases were the seeds of an artistic process mining the inscrutable substrata of magick and the Left-Hand Path, Through the Cervix… is most definitely the root. An album that is still undeniably subterranean, but symbolizes the band’s desire to extend its reach.
Like fellow Profound Lore luminaries Mitochondrion, Portal, Impetuous Ritual and Vasaeleth—and you can throw Ritual Necromancy, Cruciamentum and Grave Miasma into that mix—Antediluvian take the retrogressive path, one littered with blasphemous and guttural influences. The corrosive hook of Incantation looms large—but then, who hasn’t copped a few cues from the primeval masters—especially in the band’s pursuit of nullifying, scoured atmospherics. However, Antediluvian aren’t simply trespassing on someone else’s well-tilled field. There’s a clear desire to evoke their own ceremonial rites and reveal their own suffocating agenda—one marked by an obsession with the heredity of esotericism.
Quagmire-thick songs on Through the Cervix… ooze a diabolical doctrine. The crustier, slow-baked elements on the album impart forms of expression beyond nihilistic pummeling. Why simply batter the listener when asphyxiating them has a far more intimate feel. It’s merciless and depraved, but Through the Cervix… is tempered by Antediluvian’s own acumen. Inverted hymnals are all well and good—who doesn’t love a band that seeks to tear down the walls? But Antediluvian takes it slow. Deconstructing the foundations, dismantling the ramparts, it’s clearly a ritualized process, one seeking to render the band’s creed eternal.
As much as Antediluvian smother everything in a suitably lo-fi production, there’s still enough clarity to highlight their skill at taking the most egregious elements of metal and bending them to their own idiosyncratic, darkly imaginative will. Sculpting a sound that combines ominous death metal with a thick aura of black metal’s most heretical aesthetics makes the band’s conduit into the perpetual darkness both orthodox and unpredictable.
“Rephaim Sceptre…” and “…Through the Cervix of Hawwah” is where it all begins, and immediately it’s apparent there’s more than old-school kinetics occurring here. In the first five minutes alone you’re treated to the de rigueur blasting passages, but there’s also undercurrents of sludge, doom and a droning atonality. Add into that utterly grisly vocals and insanely metamorphosing solos, and there’s a surprising amount of nuance amongst all that mire.
Tracks like, “From Seraphic Embrace” and “Gomorrah Entity (Perversion Reborn)” have their conventional death metal elements destabilized by vestiges of warped black metal. And with percussion that mutates from downtempo crawls to rapid firing bursts—often running counter to the dirge-like riffing—it’s in those discordant passages that Antediluvian shines. Even the most uncomplicated track on the album, “Turquoise Infidel”, is tainted with a progressive spirit, and the final maelstrom of “Erect Reflection (Abyss of Organic Matter)” beautifully illustrates how the band allows its songs to disintegrate into vortexes of twisted noise, yet still remains firmly in control of the chaos.
There was a time when humans looked to primitive philosophies for answers, but then rationalism arrived, and we cast aside ideas of magick and forgot about celestial and elemental truths. Antediluvian haven’t. They’re here to take us back to source, to revisit the adversarial, and to remind us of that rudimentary fuck-or-fight spirit that religious dogma has always sought to tame. Crushingly heavy, riotously unconventional and passionately demoniacal, Through the Cervix of Hawwah is the sound of devolution.