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Total War: ANTICHRIST SIEGE MACHINE - Filth of the World Review

A full-fledged war metal raid from the American South.


2019’s Schism Perpetration was easily one of my favorite records of the year, due in no small part to the fact that Virginia's ANTICHRIST SIEGE MACHINE consistently manages to tweak the black/death formula enough to make it sound fresh and exciting again. The production isn’t purposefully awful, the guitar work is dynamic and engaging, and the drumming is absolutely top shelf. In other words, ANTICHRIST SIEGE MACHINE puts effort and intentionality into the creation of their songs - no mean feat in a genre that’s filled to the brim with low effort bands recycling riffs from the ‘90s and putting more thought into their aesthetic than the actual music.

Since their inception in 2016, ANTICHRIST SIEGE MACHINE has always seemed much more fluid in terms of songwriting than a lot of other black/death bands out there, some of whom appear to intentionally utilize choppy song structures as a quick and easy way to add intensity. That’s not the case on Filth of the World. These songs roil and froth with a barely-contained vitriol that threatens to spill over at any second, but they manage to remain coherent and focused throughout. Every song on this EP is on the shorter side (with only Hanged by the Bell Rope passing the three minute mark), but they all feel fully fleshed out. These tracks aren’t all-out blast fests devoid of breathing room; ANTICHRIST SIEGE MACHINE is ready and willing to throw in a groove or two to keep things fresh and actively interesting.

In another departure from black/death norms, the vocals sit relatively low in the mix, which creates an almost oppressively spacious feeling on these tracks. There’s no pitch shifted vocals and no distracting spoken parts - the vocal delivery is pure sonic rage, nothing less. The riffs truly take center stage, showcasing a level of dynamism and thoughtfulness that isn’t usually present on black/death record. Indeed, considering that the purpose of the genre is to sonically bludgeon the listener, it’s exceptionally impressive that ANTICHRIST SIEGE MACHINE manages to accomplish this while adding intricacies and flourishes that are usually completely absent.

With the four songs on this EP bearing the titles Melted Icons of Christ, Storm Chariot, Purifying Blade, and Hanged by the Bell Rope, it’s readily apparent that ANTICHRIST SIEGE MACHINE is crafting an aesthetic of pure malice. I don't have access to the lyrics, but it’s not hard to imagine the fare being offered by this positively wrathful two piece. There’s likely no high flung philosophical or “magical” concepts to be found on this record; what you hear is what you get. Thankfully, what you hear is bound to go down as one of the best EPs of 2020. Fans of filth everywhere, rejoice. I can’t say enough good things about this EP. The production is great, the writing is great, the execution is great. My only complaint is that it’s so damn short.

Filth of the World drops April 16th via Stygian Black Hand. Preorder your copy HERE.

Cover art by Warhead Art


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