The Brooklyn-based black metal band Arsantiqva took their name from a conjunction of Latin words meaning “ancient art”, referring to European music from the late Middle Ages, perhaps in part because their key members are transplants from France and Russia. But there is nothing antiquated or time-worn about their music, as you’re about to discover through our premiere of a lyric video for “Hellwhore“, a track from the band’s forthcoming debut album, Scavengers.
Thematically, Scavengers explores a post-apocalyptic concept, “a metaphorical expression of a destroyed civilization taken to its primitive state of existence” — and “Hellwhore” is indeed a nasty, boisterous, and primally appealing romp through the wasteland. A big part of its appeal comes from the band’s success in pulling together a diverse array of stylistic elements, making them work in harness together, pulling in the same direction in the service of the song rather than scattering apart like a flock of startled ravens.
Speaking of startled ravens, the video is fun to watch in part because the lyrics constantly dissolve in flights of black birds and oily smoke. It also includes images of naked women, so you might want to be mindful of who’s looking over your shoulder at the screen.
To return to the stylistic fusion that occurs in “Hellwhore“, you get a taste of it fairly soon. While the skittering riff that starts the song and the whirring of circle-saw guitars accompanied by pummeling percussion that follows it signify thrashing black metal savagery, the music soon jumps to a highly infectious jolt of black ‘n’ roll. And the band’s exuberant taste for switching gears doesn’t end there, as they move from rocking out to a union of jabbing riffs, pulsating bass, and the flickering of symphonic keys, only to then slow the pace with a stomping beat and a dismal, slithery guitar lead.
They reprise these segments, which (again) come across as cohesive rather than jarring, while the vocalist discharges the lyrics in a vicious goblin snarl that’s both seething and icy (and reminiscent to this listener of Goatwhore’s Ben Falgouth).
In a diverse but fairly serious-minded NY black metal scene that might now be best known for such bands as Woe, Tombs, Anicon, Mutilation Rights, Yellow Eyes, Black Anvil, and Imperial Triumphant (to name a few), Arsantiqva add to that diversity in “Hellwhore” with a hell of a lot of nasty, swaggering, pulse-pounding fun.
Scavengers was recorded in Brooklyn at Metrosonic Studio in Brooklyn and it was mixed and mastered at Dugout Productions in Sweden by Daniel Bergstrand (Dimmu Borgir, Behemoth, Dark Funeral) and Lawrence Mackrory, respectively. The cover art was designed by Art Noir Studio.
No release date has been announced yet — the band are looking for a label — so watch this space for further updates:
SCAVENGERS TRACK LIST:
03 Snake Skin
05 Magistrate of Doom
06 Scavengers of Salvation
08 Vivat Apocalypses
09 Ultra Black