Antzaat are something of an Enigma with limited information available about them giving an air of mystery, further compounded by their promo photos with hoods up and faces obscured. However, what I do know is that this Belgian quartet have delivered a stunning debut EP and are set to become a force in modern day black metal.

Over the course of 5 tracks and 22 minutes they manage to pack in more than most full albums. Their sound is reminiscent of traditional Scandinavian black metal such as Sargeist, Horna and Urgehal and carries enough belligerent vitriol to satisfy even the most critical black metal fan, while having enough melody to set it apart from many of its peers.

Opening track ‘Disciples of the Concrete Temple’ is an uncompromising full speed demonic assault, and yet it has prominent melody pulsating right through it. ‘Rite of the New Dawn’ keeps up the aggression and is unrelenting in its intensity before giving way to ‘Circle of Leeches’ and ‘Hierarchy of the Battered’ and their oppressive atmospheric variations on the old school sound before closing things with the triumphant title track.

Antzaat have achieved the holy grail of black metal by balancing an unrelenting all out aural assault with melody, and few black metal releases will surpass this. Antzaat have a bright (of course I mean bleak and grim as this is black metal) future and I look forward to experiencing them from the pit at some point.

(8/10 Andy Pountney)