Antrisch – EXPEDITION II: Die Passage Review

One of the zillion things that I love about Metal music is the eager for new subjects to cover with songs and albums bands have. There are many so unusual or hidden themes that Metal bands have cover through the years. Here we’ve got Antrisch with “EXPEDITION II: Die Passage” an album that tells the  story of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror which in 1845 departed England under the command of Captain Sir John Franklin and Captain Francis Crozier. The two ships were bound for the inhospitable Northwest Passage in the Canadian Artic, but the expedition would unfortunately end in failure. Both ships and every member of their crews perished in the icy wastelands. The captains sought to conquer the unconquerable and chart the then uncharted stretch of the Northwest Passage. Disastrously the ships became icebound for more than a year in the Victoria Strait near King William Island. They were eventually abandoned and many had died, while the survivors fled for the Canadian mainland. Those survivors vanished and presumably perished in various ways, including hypothermia, starvation, disease and lead poisoning. In search operations years later two of the men’s bodies were found, and cut marks were found on some of the bones which supported allegations of cannibalism. The surpreme irony of that all – there is always a supreme irony – is the top notch technology they brought in to help get them feed was the one that killed them. Later on the tin cans they had turned out to be one of the most dangerous poisons to human health. It was the lead in the tin cans that caused the hallucinations and disorientation that ultimately kept them far from being rescued.

Kind of story, huh? If you what I mean, this story and Antrisch were a perfect match. Maybe, just maybe the Atmospheric Black Metal the band practices helped a lot as well due to the muscial construction full of moods and atmospheres. It doesn’t matter at all because the band was perfectly able to pass the feeling the crew of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror may have felt back then. “EXPEDITION II: Die Passage” is made of six tracks perfectly built up to express all the emotions that were felt during their last, and deadly, voyage. From “I Festgefroren” to “IIIIII 68° 15′ N 98° 45′ W – 68° 54′ N 98° 56′ W” – the last coordinates of the ships – the album flawlessly and faithfully made a trip to the unknown telling in a Black Metal way what may have happened to the crew. This, of course, mean the trip wasn’t romanticized not a little bit. The cold and hard enviroment the crew confronted is now immortalized by the sick and vicious view of Antrisch whose ability to deliver all the inhospitable enviroment is to be praised above all things. The cold – as a matter of speaking – instrumental and band performance gave the songs that veracity and accuracy the story required. The ups and downs of the speed inside the songs helped passing the despair and horror. To some extent, the songs being in German give them the drama they deserve. Well, I don’t think they would like it but that’d be the better they’ve got.

Antrisch “EXPEDITION II: Die Passage” was released on April 06th via RB Records.

Track Listing:

  1. I Festgefroren
  2. II Wahnrationen
  3. III In Perpetuum
  4. IIII Ultima Ratio
  5. IIIII Exodus
  6. IIIIII 68° 15′ N 98° 45′ W – 68° 54′ N 98° 56′ W

Watch IIII Ultima Ratio” official lyric video here: