Wretch is the debut full-length from British Columbia’s Anti-God Hand, a black metal project that boasts technicality, atmosphere, and curiosity in addition to precise, meticulous song writing. It will be released on the 4th June, 2021 via American Decline Records.
The atmosphere builds until you feel like you can’t take it anymore on Forest Output. Eventually, Anti-God Hand unleashing their full black metal power in a cacophony of intensity. With rough sounding instrumentation, there is a old-school black metal flavour to it. However, the deep atmosphere and focus on a wide array of riffs tells a different story. It’s not a unique combination but on this opener, they certainly showcase why they’re not just your average extreme metal band.
Zero-Harm Environment builds on that with a cleaner guitar sound that gets more and more jagged as the drums and vocals come in. Melodic drops add emotion to a dark and cold effort overall. Effective and memorable.
After two hefty numbers it’s something of a surprise to then get the short blast of noise that is Threshold Magic. The buzzing technicality of the guitars, howling vocals and impenetrable wall of noise created by the drums, is spectacular. Followed quickly by Sacred Canon’s rippling guitars. Anti-God’s technical prowess really beginning to shine now. Whereas Snowblade’s methodical start has a layer of grime covering everything, becoming rot as the track descends into pure savagery. It has way more in line with post-black/shoegaze than traditional black metal, the atmosphere layered throughout is subtle but notable enough to enhance the track.
After so many short and sharp efforts, it’s time for Anti-God Hand to showcase their epic side with blazing bursts of energy, sharp technicality and wandering musical scores. Moss Golem is the longest track on the album but doesn’t feel it as Anti-God Hand pull listeners through such an array of sounds, it’s harder to keep up then it is be distracted.
The riffy finale of The Axe That Splits the Cedar is all the more impactful as it burns with bright technical vitality. Another stunner and an emotional closer as Wretch has finished. You’ll be left wanting much more.
Anti-God Hand – Wretch Full Track Listing:
1. Forest Output
2. Zero-Harm Environment
3. Threshold Magic
4. Sacred Canon
6. Moss Golem
7. The Axe That Splits The Cedar
Anti-God Hand - Wretch (American Decline Records)
The Final Score - 9/10