Monday, October 14, 2013
Review of Metal Soundscapes to the album "Conclamatum Est" - 8 / 10!!
Greetings from colossal abyss! I leave ye with one more review to the third album of Antiquus Scriptum, "Conclamatum Est", this time from the webzine "Metal Soundscapes", to which Dimitris gave a generous 8 in 10. This has been hailed by critics as the best work of the project, be so?... Soon the Portuguese version, hug to everyone! Humbly: Sacerdos Magus
"Conclamatum Est" is the third full-length album by Antiquus Scriptum, the personal project of Sacerdos Magus from Portugal. The album was recorded in 2010 and was released the same year as bootleg by a label from New Zealand, without the permission of Sacerdos Magus! Finally on July 2013 the album was officially released by the Austrian label Talheim Records. Antiquus Scriptum exist since 1998, but there were several breaks in the band’s activity. Before "Conclamatum Est" the band released 2 full-length albums, which will be both re-released soon by Pesttanz Klangschmiede, the German label that recently released the band’s new album "Ars Longa, Vita Brevis…".
Antiquus Scriptum is a band with a very characteristic sound, totally different from any other band I have ever listened to. What is also unusual for me is that I listen and review their works so far in reverse chronological order. Anyway, "Conclamatum Est" is a very long album, lasting for almost 77 minutes and it is divided in two parts, the main album and the covers, exactly like their new album. The main album is entitled "Caput I - Tristitia, Absentia, Molestia" and contains 9 songs with a total duration of 59 minutes, while 3 of its songs are over 10 minutes each. The second part, entitled "Caput II - Tributum", is around 18 minutes long and contains 7 covers (Venom, Celtic Frost, Slayer, Psycoma, The Invertebrate, Mordaça and Manowar). I choose to see the second part as a "bonus" and prefer to listen mostly the "original" album.
Once again Antiquus Scriptum offer us a unique mixture of epic, black and thrash metal, combined with various other genres. Compared to the new album, "Conclamatum Est" is more melodic, symphonic and with many more folk elements, something that makes it sound more variable and even more interesting. The production is good, having an underground approach, but at the same time everything is heard perfectly clear. Sacerdos Magus’ vocals is one of the basic characteristics of the band, one that makes them sound unlike any other. They move from screaming to clean ones, but most of the time he sings somewhere in-between, in a unique personal style fitting so much with his music! Guitar lines and choirs sound very epic, while beautiful keys add a battle atmosphere in the music. Acoustic guitars and traditional instruments become more dominant in the tranquil parts of their songs and with the help of synths add often a soundtrack-like approach to the music. By the way, 5 of their songs are instrumental. Lyrics are in mostly in English, but they also use Portuguese in a couple of songs and a few Latin verses. They are influenced by the history and roots of Lusitânia, as well as by ancient history, mythology and pagan themes.
Antiquus Scriptum is a band very difficult to categorize under any genre or to describe with references to other bands. So I advice you to visit their official pages and listen to their music in order to get a complete idea of their sound. For my personal taste "Conclamatum Est" is better than their new work and I am already looking forward to listen to their older works too. "Conclamatum Est" is released by Talheim Records in standard jewel-case edition with 8-page booklet limited to 500 copies. The cover and the inner artworks come from Middle-ages paintings representing the "Battle of Aljubarrota", a battle fought between the Kingdom of Portugal and the Crown of Castile on August 14th of 1385.
(Dimiarch / Metal Soundscapes - 8 / 10)