This short (13 minutes in all) EP is a prime example of how can an occult/mysticism (judging from the grandiose layout which shouts «Orthodox» from miles) black metal release distance itself somewhat from the over-saturated orthodox sub-genre. The Dutch band does not go all the way, leaving the umbilical cord connecting it with the Ondskapt/DSO mothership, uncut-yet-somewhat worn. For those who do not know of Israthoum (I was equally unaware of them before “Antru Kald”), they are a band from Netherlands who have been around since 2001, and have released 2 full-length albums and several demo/EP/split works.
«Antru Kald» kicks off with the best track, “Alleviate, Elevate”, which implements some stellar, early-Enslaved influenced hypersonic riffing into an otherwise disharmonic structure, the result being a grandiose blazing opus, with a war-like edge. Vocals are quite varied throughout, moving through whispers, growls, and Ondscapt-like spectral howls. The other two tracks are of a more typical hue, closer to the orthodox frame one can say. The vocals keep their quicksilver character, while guitars tend to move on an array of tempos, materialised in riffing that satisfies but does not surprise (apart from the beginning of the third track, “Deathmasks Inheritor” which is more than reminiscent of a certain “Bridge of Death” intro). Production-wise the EP is almost flawless, with a convincing dark hue permeating the sound. Compositionally, the (mini) album could be a bit more focused, and I would prefer that the band expanded on the first track’s structure and atmosphere.
“Antru Kald” is probably (along with Serpent Noir‘s “Erotomysticism”) the best release of Daemon Worship Productions for this year up to now (Swarþ & Devouring Star unfortunately did not convince me). Its short duration is definitely troubling, but the trio of tracks to be found inside it are totally worth a listen at the very least, especially the addictive “Alleviate, Elevate” opener.