Releasing their second album only a short year after their more than impressive and widely well received debut “Giftes 1 & 2”, Antlered Man‘s latest release is a remarkably distinct mix of alt rock, metal and prog with a little psychedelia thrown in. After a year playing numerous tour dates and festival shows, the four piece from London’s “The Devil Is Them” is a confident display of how they have evolved. You wouldn’t blame them if they tried to replicate “Giftes” as simply put it is just that good, but no this is album is an entirely new animal altogether.
Straight in, off the bat, no messing about here ‘The Ballad Of Hamhock Fullsleeve’ could not be a better opener. With an unrelenting drum beat and beautifully arranged riffs it’s not until nearly four minutes in that the vocals appear, but strangely through being totally wrapped up in the track already, you don’t notice their absence till they come in. ‘Gdz’ contains some of the most enthralling melodic yet haunting vocals, though still managing to maintain the heaviness without letting it take over Damo Ezekiel-Holmes voice which is quite a balance to achieve.
It’s ‘Ian Will Break Again’ that stands out to me personally on this record. It’s just one of those tracks, instant goose bumps and on repeat in my head. It is though through a couple of the longer tracks mainly the 10 minute ‘Audition Tapes For Hades’ and ‘Claude The Ideal Bloody Gentleman’ that the experimentation with their sound on this album is clearer, in contrast to the much faster paced instantly in your face feel songs like ‘Ian Will Break Again’ and ‘My Surname, My Cum’ they don’t hold your attention quite as well, however on their own they are quite stunning.
With “The Devil Is Them” it appears Antlered Man have arrived at that much sort after of place of ‘they sound like themselves’ that many bands find elusive. With their influences still being clear in their overall sound, Antlered Man have made an album that sounds nothing like anything else out there.