Swiss destroyers Antiversum put mysterious touch on black metal with ‘Cosmos Comedenti’

Strange surroundings can cause one to feel panic and unease, a sense that nothing is within his or her control, and anything could happen at any time. That fear and sense of dread could cause those with weaker constitutions to hide in a corner or a safe place to remain undetected. Those with bolder hearts might find an opportunity to explore and overcome.

I felt both sides of that when taking on “Cosmos Comedenti,” the debut full-length from Swiss monsters Antiversum. With very little on their resume and not much revealed about the shadow figures behind this project, this record is like that dark, strange place where you have no idea how to react. It never feels like any positive forces are around, and you can’t help but feel utterly haunted when taking on these four tracks and 38 minutes. The band’s immersive, mysterious mix of black and death metal is thick and foreboding, and as you navigate these murky waters, you do so with great apprehension because you don’t know what surrounds you. But still, it’s an exciting, enveloping aura you can’t help but explore thoroughly, for you never have been here before.

“Antinova” gets the record started with sizzling noise and a doomy soup of death and madness. Riffs spiral and chew into the ground, tunneling its way to hell, while hisses open, rumbling growls shake the ground, and we’re into a sticky, mucky assault. The track clobbers with a purpose, while the vocals sicken, sounds bubble to the surface, and the song burns away. “Chao E Orta Est” has drums rupturing, while guitars hang in the air like a swollen storm. The pace slowly punishes, while the growls gurgle plasma, and punishing blows are dealt over and over, as you beg for submission. Noise spits, while the track goes into a gory end, and while the cut seems to bring serenity, that stops abruptly with guitars boring into bone and the fires of fear raging with blinding light.

The title track revels in dissonant power that cuts through everything, and the growls begin to crush. The guitars go mystical and add a heavy dose of mystery, while the growls bruise the throat, and the drums destroy. The track rips apart all over again later, as the guitars launch themselves into the cosmos, and the tracks dissolves into a black hole of sound. Closer “Nihil Ad Probandum” spreads over 13:23, making it the longest track, and it unravels and soaks in weirdness. The track grinds away as the growls add a gravelly finish, while the track takes on an unforgiving, tyrannical pace. The riffs continue to piledrive, beating you within an inch of submission. But then the terror begins to liquify and drain, and a heavy storm of spacey strangeness bleeds in and takes the song to its bizarre conclusion.

Antiversum bring chaos and madness combined on their stunning debut “Cosmos Comedenti,” and these 38 minutes may prove to be some of the most perplexing experiences with metal this year. Their shroud of mystery only enhances the sense of dread floating around here, and the longer you drink deeply, the more it infects your bloodstream. These are strange times, and bands such as Antiversum are going to be here to take us by the hand into the void.

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