Often times I think that if I had a shred of musical talent or indeed had any intention of playing music then I would front a War Metal band. I can’t think of anything more visceral than the Blackened Death might of witnessing the likes of Blasphemy or Revenge live. The sonic wall of destruction is so befitting to the broader Extreme Metal tag and indeed I feel is still quite the experience to even more seasoned gig goers. Alas I don’t care for playing music, only judging those that do.
On the subject of War Metal we come to speak of Lisbon, Portugal based duo Kommando Baphomet. The band are a relatively illusive one and this album marks their debut release. It comes to us through Godz Ov War Productions and is entitled Blood Gospels Of Satanic Inquisition. Now, judging a book (or album) by its cover (or name) is often looked down upon, but frankly both are important. I was drawn to the band through their name and indeed the name of their debut, can my blind initiation prove a success or should I listen to the old saying?
The introduction is spoken word and menacing in the opening Blood Bible. Swiftly to we are drawn into the raw instrumentation which is a cacophony of clinking cymbals, rasping and guttural vocals, plus muddy, thick riffs, War Metal delights. Being a sucker for this kind of brutality I was personally impressed straight away. One thing in particular caught my attention, the production. It’s a grim and horrible tone that sounds like sticking your head in a microwave, turning it on and having someone beat the outside with colanders, in short it’s nasty and perfect for War Metal. There isn’t much to say about singular tracks, as to be honest they meld together, yet things are kept afresh, Coas Devorador being a prime example of keeping things interesting, namely through the vocals which echo in ghastly refrains.
One of the charms of War Metal is the no frills approach. The music itself is so devoid of anything truly innovative in the way of instrumentation or song-writing (not a defamation of the genre) that it can simply do no wrong. It’s loud, noisy, aggressive, filthy and barbaric, is there really anything else Metalheads need? Living Hell is a particularly miserable affair full of melancholic self-destruction and desperation, all backed up with heavy swaths of chaotic decimation through the instrumentation that lays behind the vocals like puddles of decay. Finally, in comes A Thousand Corpses, the lengthy number rounds the album off nicely with a good mixture of both Black and Death infused riffs. The track blends in perfectly with the rest of the album’s carnage, noting also the albums mysterious, nigh on Ambient exit at the end of the song, a befitting climax.
Do I like this album? Yes, I do indeed, would I go mad for it? Probably not. I mean I love War Metal and Kommando Baphomet are just about everything I like about the genre. As I said before the lack of innovation therein is almost a testament to why the genre thrives, if it’s not broke don’t fix it. Although this lack of willingness to adapt can lead to stagnation and indeed flooding. It’s a case of if I already have Archgoat then why do I need Kommando Baphomet? Yet I’ll leave that to others listeners to decide, I’m merely being a grouchy goblin and overall I liked Blood Gospels Of Satanic Inquisition, I’m sure I’ll listen to it again and again.
(7/10 George Caley)