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December 13, 2011

Review: Antipope – House of Harlot

Brutal Tunes

antipope-house-of-harlot-steffmetal

Following their 2010 release Decent, Finland’s Antipope make another foray into gothic, cabaret metal with their darkwave infused release House of Harlot. If you’ve ever listened to Cradle of Filth and thought they sounded alright but you weren’t sure what they were doing with the midget, then House of Harlot should be right up your alley.

From the very first song, “House of Harlot” (based on Oscar Wilde’s poem “Harlot’s House”) the vocals of Mikko are what set this album above other dark metal releases. Mikko credits Leonard Cohen, Skinny Puppy and Morrissey as huge influences, and you can definitely hear this in both his lyrical subjects and his style. He brings real-world emotion to larger-than-life music. In an instant, he switches from a deep, post-rock drone to screams to a kind of vitriol hissing, and each change fit the music perfectly. The crooning, screeching vocals on “A Thing So Vile” bring a prime example.

The music, too, flits between styles, sometimes dark and atmospheric, sometimes chugging along like a freight train of brutality, sometimes hinting at classic rock influences, but always retaining a sense of what darkwave could have been if only it was a little more … awesome.

The stand-out songs for me are “House of Harlot”, which is the perfect opener for this distinct record, and “A Thing So Vile”, which drips with raw rage. The track “Morning Star” is one of those songs that really grows on you – at first you think the vocals sound a bit mental, but you find yourself humming that dark, wicked riff as you wait for your train in the morning.

House of Harlot doesn’t officially release till 30th November, but you can listen to the whole album streaming online through Finnish site kaaoszine.fi, and check out the Antipope website or Antipope Facebook page for more details.

5 Comments on “Review: Antipope – House of Harlot

luna
February 24, 2012 at 2:04 am

changed my mind again….. have been listening most days while working and now have to buy their cd. didnt expect to get hooked but I have. something about their sound.
so thanks for writing the review as I might not of found them otherwise.

steff
March 8, 2012 at 11:13 pm

@luna – I know what you mean – they do get under your skin a bit!

luna
December 29, 2011 at 10:43 pm

well Steff, I got hold of 3 tracks from this album and have been listening to them on repeat while at work. while I do like them, I found their overall sound a bit muddled. I had a look at their webpage and now realize why you mentioned Cradle. I dont like alot of the lyrics found in metal so dont “listen” to the words. Its all about the sound of the music and the style that a band plays that appeals to me. Fortunatly the lyrics in alot of music are hard to hear so i dont get to be bothered about what they are saying…. They are unlikely to become a favourite but I will listen occaisonally.

luna
December 14, 2011 at 1:50 am

steff…… I liked it straight away. I listen to cradle but didnt quite get your reference to it . (but then i only listen, dont watch the videos) Definitly a band i will keep an eye on. think i am going to spend far too much time on your site. keep up the reviews

steff
December 15, 2011 at 11:18 am

@Luna – thanks – and I hope you do stick around \m/

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