Abomination Of Human Pestilence
Review by Vladimir on January 10, 2024.
Every time I come across black metal bands and projects on social media such as Instagram or Facebook and even decide to give them a listen, I would often find myself in a very peculiar situation in which I am either entirely unamused or even unsure as to what to think of it. However, one exceptional case that caught my attention and encouraged me to give it a go, was the black metal project Fantasma from Würzburg, Germany. It originally started as a one-man project by Sarto, who is actively involved in the German black metal scene with bands such as Morgenröthe, Tristețe, Bethlehem, Totensucht and Wehmut, but as of 2023, Fantasma became a two-member project when Martyris joined as the guitarist. On January 5th, 2024, Fantasma released their demo Abomination Of Human Pestilence via Narbentage Produktionen on a limited edition of 66 cassettes, and also as an independent digital release on their Bandcamp page. If you are into German black metal in the similar vein to bands like Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult, please join me on this journey as we take a look at the second official release by Fantasma.
Fantasma provides a very primitive and misanthropic black metal filled with raw energy and cold atmosphere, thanks to its very clever and effective use of traditional black metal traits consisted of tremolo picking riffs, fast drumming and harsh screaming vocals. Even though these are very standard characteristics of the subgenre, what really compliments the songs is the hateful and atmospheric riffs that radiate such immense feelings, especially on the songs like 'Corrupted By Evil'. On top of all the misanthropy and primitive rawness, there is also some room for catchy Darkthrone and Celtic Frost style riffing that appears on the fourth track 'The Poisoner Of Roma' that successfully managed to satisfy my appetite. Other moments that also deserve a mention is the wicked and slow doomy riff on the sixth track 'Manes', which starts off like Black Sabbath’s self-titled song and then all of a sudden transition into primitive black metal extravaganza.
It’s interesting to see that the songwriting is so dynamic and rich with ideas, helping the songs flow so smoothly and even lead to some surprising moments like the simple yet melodic soloing on 'The Dance Of The Desperate', which perfectly blends with the song’s melancholic vibe. On top of the band’s original material, they also managed to sneak in a pretty good cover of Totensucht’s 'Die Rückkehr Auf Sensus', in which Sarto of Fantasma also plays as the live guitarist. These days it’s often hard to find bands/projects who dabble in oldschool black metal, especially since most of them don’t even bother trying to make their songs more engaging or interesting, however considering the fact that every song feels like it hits the spot, you can easily tell that Fantasma really went ahead to give all they got. Another highlight of Abomination Of Human Pestilence is its atmosphere, filled with that plague-infested and macabre vibe that is presented with the cover art by Özge Nur and yet transferred through various riff ideas. The demo has a very solid production which despite its rawness really sounds and feels natural and organic, especially with the little help of Oliver Kraus (Agathodaimon, Cravenhall, Dagdrøm, The Morgrotuskthululustoccultobskullty Horrormance) who provided his drumming skills.
I must say that I was quite fascinated that this demo really had plenty of interesting ideas to offer and also showed a great deal of potential with Fantasma’s musical direction. I can guarantee that this experience wasn’t a generic and uninspiring output that would leave anyone feeling unamused or disgusted, rather a very well-thought out work that could get the attention from a solid number of oldschool black metal fans. I highly recommend that you check out Abomination Of Human Pestilence, and also make sure to check out their previously released EP Benevento Black Metal.
Rating: 8.6 out of 10238