Sunday, November 1, 2015

Olzirtox - Antihuman Biowarfare

Anti-religious themes are par for the course in black metal. It’s something that’s so commonplace that it’s usually not worth mentioning. Olzirtox’s EP, Antihuman Biowarfare, though - it’s an entirely different level of vehement hatred. A quick look at the cover art shows that along with the typical inverted crosses and sigils of Baphomet we’re also treated with a crossed out Star of David, cross, and star and crescent. Also, one more thing - the bloody and gruesome decapitated head. This aesthetic matters, because the music on Antihuman Biowarefare isn’t any less blunt or violent than its artwork.

After opening up with some demonic spoken word vocals, Olzirtox’s absolutely pummels the listener with vicious black metal. The overall low-fi sound is reminiscent of the old school Norse approach. Unlike the countless awful raw black metal bands out there, this comes across as a period appropriate tribute to the classics. Olzirtox’s tone is thin without sucking the power out of the energetic and heavy riffs. There is a huge amount of hissing treble but it enhances the atmosphere rather than masking the composition. The music’s abrasive edge comes across as something deliberate rather than incompetence, even the demonic spoken word vocals seem like a throwback.

Antihuman Biowarfare isn’t without its flaws. There’s only around twenty minutes of music, and far too much of this is made of up samples and the demonic vocals. A lot of this could have been cut down without sacrificing the mood. “666: A Forceful Display of Satanic Propaganda” even has some samples of bleating sheep people screaming. The symbolism is about as painfully obvious as it gets, almost like how Glen Benton of Deicide is so over the top that he basically writes lyrics about filling a punching bag with bibles.

If you like aggressive black metal, this is worth a listen. Olzirtox has more creativity than their blunt nature may suggest. The use of guttural vocals mixed into the black metal rasp and clever dynamic range on “Total Destruction of the Jewish Christ” are more obvious example of this. Yes, it’s very much an EP that retreads black metal’s past, but it’s strong enough for that to not be a problem.

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