So a new chapter for Profanatica. Nope not musically, they are still very much preaching their foul old testament as far as that is concerned so don’t go looking for anything in the way of evolution in that respect. However, their signing to Season Of Mist seems to have done them no ill favours and recently they have been ravaging Europe and spreading their foul doctrine further than previously with gigs all over the place. Hell, they have even made it to far flung places like Guatemala and The Honduras like some sort of foul biblical plague. Since reactivating they have scared the living crap out of many a listener including myself and I have had the displeasure of covering them since they finally dropped ‘Profanatitas de Domonatia’ in 2007 and at last I got to see them live recently. Seeing as it appears there’s no stopping them, I am happy to continue as they court controversy. Apparently, there have been problems “due to their sacrilegious and sexual lyrical content” with a cassette manufacturer refusing the job on this the new album. According to the group they were only operating on 45% blasphemy here too. Although I have not got the lyrics with my digital copy of the album I’m sure even that is offensive enough to have the gates of hell opening wide in anticipation of the trio’s arrival. The song titles speak for themselves ‘Sacramental Cum,’ ‘Mocked, Scourged and Shit Upon’ & ‘Tithing Cunt’ being a few examples.

Drummer and vocalist Paul Ledney drives the mania with a smash, hammer, destroy the icons sort of intent from the second play is pressed and hardly lets up through the 37 minutes worth of profanity. Backing him up Alex Cox and Richard Olsen stir the cauldron of filth with grinding guitar and thick course bass work. If you have never heard the band before you may be taken aback at the sheer hateful discourse, if you have, you know exactly what to expect. There is something live and immediate about the recording here especially as song titles are spat out almost as though they are being introduced on stage. Vocally it’s a case of gurgles and rasps with the instruments high in the mix and them in the background as such whispering with evil intent, it’s probably just as well we can’t quite hear what is being said its enough no doubt to make your toes curl shortly before you burst into flame.

Of course this mass of foulness ain’t pretty and only really destined to be heard by those who hate religion and life itself. It’s a nihilistic communion and one song scrapes and squeals into another without a shred of mercy or even much of a change in tempo. The mix is course and totally brutal as black, death and extremity merge in a style that can only really belong to Profanatica. There’s plenty of imitators and idolaters out there but the group have truly made the sick slewing sound their own and as it lurches from slapdash bursts of speed to gnarly rugged slower crawls it definitely has the listener in its grip. Can’t say I like the way that they suddenly down tools on second number ‘Prayer in Eclipse’ but I guess they were done with it and it’s a mere second before the impetus of the next song is flung at you like a monkey in a zoo lobbing its faeces at unsuspecting spectators and then grabbing its cock and jerking off hoping to spatter those too slow to move with cum.

There are a few ambient moments (sort of) where songs are allowed to brood out in distorted disharmony with throbbing bass or sinful synth but this just adds further discomfort to it all. The strange thing with this lot is despite the unpleasantness of it all you can’t accuse them of not being able to hold a tune and beneath it all there is some really compulsive melody and plenty of bounce. The aforementioned ‘Sacramental Cum’ is even ejaculated with some definite punk ballast behind it too. On first listen I was kinda thunking ‘yeah more of the same’ but there are some seriously good songs here and although choir practice definitely ain’t on the cards anytime soon you can’t dismiss Profanatica of simply making a tuneless racket.

(7.5/10 Pete Woods)