Six years of silence preceded the apparent opening of the musical gates of hell, resulting in this three headed death metal beast escaping and unleashing its sonic torment on the world. Armed with brutal riffs, deafening blasts and plenty of disdain for religious idols and monotheistic based beliefs, Italian trio Blasphemer are back with all the fury of a demon, which quite honestly is expected. As you can tell, by the band’s name, Blasphemer aren’t going to be on Dave Mustaine’s Christmas list, nor will they be playing any festival or tour with him and the rest of Megadave, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing right? With an album name which translates to the ritual consuming of a deity, let’s see what their God-based plate tastes like… By the way guys, I like my deities medium-rare!
From the off, it’s a ferocious onslaught of tight rhythms, crushing riffs and groove, pretty much what you would expect from a death metal act who lean towards the brutal side of the genre. The way the guitar riffs, thunderous bass and relentless drums combine to make a formidable wall of demonic sound is well executed and impressive. There aren’t many cracks in it and the time keeping is pretty spot on too, going from your typical fast pace to a more crushing controlled march to even more frantic buzzing riffery. Capping all this of course is the dual vocal approach. With two very distinct growls, one of which is rather low and demonic in its sound whilst the other is slightly higher and more cutting and agony filled, it creates a real sense of unease, and when they work together with the noise beneath them, it makes for some real evil sounding metal.
Lyrically, well you can guess the content before even looking at the track list. The anti-Christian sentiment is all over this album, from stabs at Jesus in the lyrics, song titles and samples to direct references to the faith itself, it really displays its feelings and meaning on its sleeve! “Jesus Rapes” is a wild and savage display of music and “Annihilated Divinity” is pure, brutal death metal which is probably the equivalent of a tactical missile smashing into you.
Despite the strong lyrical themes giving power to the already hostile musical onslaught, it lacks that spark which helps propel it into the upper reaches of the brutal death metal stylings. The powerful musical onslaught is impressive, but across the album, there is little diversity. The sense of familiarity between the tracks both helps and hinders as you can listen to it, knowing what to expect, but then end up getting too much of what you expect, leading to the conclusion that it misses that magical moment which kicks it up a gear and really blows you away. The only real diverse moment is the closing track “Ritual Theophagy” which is a slow and unsettling track filled with haunting arpeggios and unnerving vocal screams, acting as a good curtain call for the musical feasting.
In all, Blasphemer have done what they are known best for – delivered a solid sounding, hard hitting, Christianity degrading album. It’s intense, it’s got crushing riffs, powerful vocal work and blastbeats which hit like a freight train, but it lacks that spark which makes the ordinary seem a little less ordinary. So, a little tough and chewy in places, but a decent taste all round, this god-bothering musical meal had the right portions, it just didn’t have the right seasoning.