Thursday, March 15, 2012

Profanatica - Sickened By Holy Host [2012]

After releasing a full-length in 2010 called “Disgusting Blasphemies Against God,” Profanatica have done no less than set out to release an EP in a similar vein to the preceding album, deviating little from what they had accomplished in said full-length. Still releasing some of the most turbulent, evil and primitive black metal out there today with a relatively polished production and blasphemous yet well thought-out riffing, they have Paul Ledney behind the wheel, the main driving force of the band. To no great surprise, Ledney is also part of the USBM band Havohej, both corresponding to a slightly more experimental style. That’s not to say that they’re orthodox nor avant-garde black metal, because they’re nowhere near this; no, both produce perverse and extremely raw black metal that will haunt listeners to their hellish graves.

Containing two different sets of recordings that Hell’s Headbangers have compacted and released in the same EP, there’s no overt difference that separates the two, save the production (the first being more polished and the second more raw and coarse), and it’s practically just the same material recorded from two different angles, so needless to say, it’s slightly superfluous. Regardless, the actual material that can be found on “Sickened By Holy Host” is still some of the most bona fide black metal that’s being released today, with a similar style to Havohej; relentless yet controlled. The tremolo riffs are entwined together with doom-laden and slower sections, casting out different effects into the listener yet all containing the same underlying value; that of utterly blasphemous, scorching pain so black that the cover of the EP may as well have been made a review; because, hell, it’s spot-on. Only at times slowing down to a snail-pace that injects more variety into the material, most of the songs are dominated and pushed forth by dark and raw riffs, coarse, resounding and abrasive vocals, and the result is one that should be dearly loved by fans of this particular sub-style of BM; i.e. not atmospheric nor ambient. Earsplitting riffs like the one introducing “Adorn His Crown With Maggots” are found practically everywhere, and the wholly evil vocals spit venom as if straight out of a snake’s fangs.

The chaotic drumming contributes scarce variation, tending to be usually flared by quick alternations of bass/snare/bass/snare and so forth (don’t mistake that with outright blast-beats, though. Listen and you’ll see.) I found the second half of the EP to be less impacting than the first, with a more prominent bass and less focused attention on the guitars. Aside from that, my overall consensus deems the EP fit to what it had obviously aimed for, and a full-length is hopefully in the works, one that I will surely lend my ears to.  Not for the weak, this EP serves as an absolutely vile and malicious release, for people who enjoy delving into the more experimental side of black metal, without going all-out progressive and avant-garde.



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