Interview: SB of Antichrist Siege Machine Talks ‘Vengeance of Eternal Fire’

Few bands marry their name and sound quite as effectively as Virginia’s Antichrist Siege Machine (ASM). Their brand of extreme metal has never felt this violent, nor has their purposeful misuse of religious iconography been more thematically resonant. Vengeance of Eternal Fire, out now via Profound Lore, is a hell of a mission statement, and with the strikingly clear production, ASM’s war metal is out for blood and the freedom of your mind and soul.

Since this is their third offensive, we are well past a traditional siege and onto a more tactical portion of the band’s war against oppressive religion. From the most sadistic drumwork yet, to using riffs like a fast-paced guillotine, and hellaciously pissed off vocals, there is a real creative fire lit under the duo. Their message against tyrannical institutions is more prescient than ever. Vocalist/drummer SB says their ethos and drive is stronger now than ever before.

“I wouldn’t say that ASM has a particular message against ‘hate’ or whatever term you’d like to use. We are more acting as a response to what we’ve seen in the world, but we would not exist if there had not been others before us. Both as we are responding to the actions committed by religious oppressors (Christian or otherwise), we are also carrying the banner of evil metal borne by the bands who inspired and came before us. I would say I am more passionate about what the band is conveying than when we began, but the general idea has remained the same. We have honed our craft and become tighter as a unit, allowing us to explore sonically and push The Sound to be more aggressive with each release.”

Musically, for something so unrelenting, there really is a sense of groove and consistency of execution that runs throughout the record. That renewed focus pays dividends on the auditory battlefield, as SB states:

“We are very much a ‘vibe’ band. We can pretty immediately tell if something we’re working on will not fit for ASM. We work together jamming songs out where either I will come to practice with a song or particular drum lick in my head or RZ will come with riffs and ideas. We rarely spend more than a couple practices on each song. We like to just hammer it out and keep moving. We are definitely not one of those bands that will sit on songs forever, editing and nitpicking.”

Past records felt like ASM were undertaking a siege against their enemies, while this album leans into using religious iconography against those institutions instead. That sense of using the enemy’s tactics against them results in easily their evilest and most playful record to date. Was that intentional, and what were some of the influences you wanted to lean into to tell these stories?

“I’ve always used scripture and imagery from the Bible for ASM’s purposes,” SB answers. “It is easiest to respond to them in tongues that they speak through. I’m drawn especially to imagery evoked in the Old Testament, of sacrifice and prophetic visions of their messiah. The track ‘Sisera’ is dedicated to a man who successfully oppressed the Israelites for approximately 20 years. He later came to an untimely demise at the hands of Jael, a painting that is quite commonly seen. The Israelites were subjected to him because they had ‘forgotten their god.’ ASM’s songs have a lot to do with the idea of falling out of faith with something. Something you are forced to believe from a young age but at a certain time and with much thought, you determine it no longer serves you. You look back at your life and what you’ve done for their cause, and you feel regret and rage. ASM seeks to channel that anger and to encourage people to consider their place in the world and who they serve. This can be social media, a job they hate, a partner they feel no connection to. Reject those who oppress you and move towards a positive path. Think for yourself. Go outside. Lift weights.”

Vengeance of Eternal Fire by Antichrist Siege Machine is available now and you can order it from Profound Lore Records. Follow Antichrist Siege Machine on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for future updates.

Photo courtesy of J. Donovan Malley.

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