OK, think fast: what’re the first two bands that come to mind when you think of Zurich? If you’re me, it’s Celtic Frost and Triptykon. Sure, there are plenty of others, but regardless which ones you picked, I bet Antiversum wasn’t one of them. Nothing against this mysterious, black/death group, but with only a demo and a six-way split to their name, I’m sure only a few people here have heard of them. But, now that their debut record is out, here’s your chance. Inside Cosmos Comedenti, you’ll find engulfing Triptykonion moments, as well as a playing field of hopeless feedback and chords-o’-dissonance. Within this shell of rumbling noise, sits a sea of crushing black/death riffs that border on the tremolo-picked aggressiveness of Gorgoroth and the drum-driven brutality of Teitanblood. By the time you’re done listening, maybe you’ll add Antiversum to your other Zurich choices. Or maybe you won’t. But with four tracks in thirty-five minutes, at least Cosmos Comedenti didn’t take up too much of your time.
“Antinova” kicks things off with a good atmosphere of Triptykon-like guitar dissonance before unleashing slow-churning Gorogorothic riffs that take support from tunnel shrieking and thundering drum work. For eight minutes, it alternates between black metal shelling and slower-paced droning—the latter hitting even harder than the former. Closer “Nihil ad Probandum” is similar in approach; opening with whistling effects and growing guitars before the drums carry it off into the Land o’ Pain. The sustained dissonance turns to building Gorgoroth chugs before the drums return and pummel like modern-day Autopsy. From here, the song (like the opener) alternates back and forth from fast to mid-paced black metal barrages, building tension and then snapping it. Then the song (and album) close with screaming feedback and a wall of noise.
The two tracks that make up the body of the album are a calculated one-two punch. The first leading into the second like one long song. “Creatio e Chao Orta Est” uses the band’s signature drumming to stomp a hole through its Triptykonian intro, dropping into dark dissonance and reverberating Attila-like shrieks. After wandering through a slow, heavy tunnel of static-y noise, the song slips into a groove of black metal massiveness that never lets up until the end. But then, it picks right back up on the title track—with pretty much the exact same riff. Like most of the tracks on this album, this one switches between black, oily riffs and molasses-thick intensity. The latter taking on Teitanblood-like deathisms that bring about the climax first set up by “Creatio e Chao Orta Est.”
Unfortunately, by the time you get to the title track, you already know the formula of the record. There aren’t any surprises by the end of “Cosmos Comedenti” and none in the closer (which repeats the album’s core ideas for thirteen long minutes). Just the same, the album is tight and its sound is massive. It’s nothing new and nothing special, but it would be even less so without the drum work (which is the main reason I keep coming back to this). Also, it’s four-song structure and short runtime makes repeat listens bearable. The compression might be high, but it helps to make Cosmos Comedenti a devastating listen.