Some classic religious baiting from a death metal trio here. Nothing new in that but when you consider the last time I encountered former Angelcorpse musician Gene Palubicki he was wearing priestly vestments and conducting a Catholic ceremony you may well be scratching your head. Fear not though this was purely done in a rather blasphemous manner as he was acting as a priest in Stephen (Unearthed Films) Biro’s gut-churning exorcism movie American Guinea Pig – Song Of Solomon (2017) and things did not go well for him in the slightest. Here he is on more familiar ground and teamed up with fellow Blasphemous Cruelty partner Alex Blume also of Ares Kingdom and Ron Parmer of Amon and Malevolent Creation, to name just a few bands.

The formula here may be fatal to those sheep who partake in the rite of ingesting the flesh of Christ but for the dyed in the wool wolves and death metal devotee won’t particularly offer too many surprises. That’s not a particularly bad thing though and as we rage headlong into the inferno of opening track ‘Nemesis Obsecration’ with drums pummelling, guitars scything hell for leather and an almighty roar, the blood lust will no doubt be flowing bright red. There’s plenty of squealing solos to be found amidst the mayhem and the pace never lets up. There’s nothing in the way here of subtlety or downing of tools for harmonious acoustic moments or indeed unnecessary instrumental passages. It’s full meat and no potatoes, hammers bash, cymbals clash and nails are blasted into skin as this rides roughshod like a bulldozer over you through the entirety of its 8 songs and well honed 35 minute running time. One track finishes and the next rumbles into life and ploughs headlong into the abyss. Sure, there’s not a massive amount of differentiation between tracks but its’ a case of if it aint broken why try and fix it. At times it is slightly doomier such as ‘Desolation Usurper’ but the might and smash, destroy, kill velocity of another barbarous furrow and cleaving lead is never far away. Palabucki’s quick fire vocals match the musical tumult and are spat out with plenty of bile

The line-up change and 5 years between this and last album ‘The Tempter’s Victorious’ don’t seem to have done any harm and the musicianship is incredibly tight and well composed. Lovers of any of the aforementioned bands and the likes of Deicide, Nile and Morbid Angel will be in their element here, playing fiery air guitar along with scorching licks and thumping away to the might of the percussive destruction. Songs titles such as ‘Devil’s Countess’ and ‘Carnal Harvest’ fit in perfectly with the grand scheme of things and although the demonic trio can’t claim responsibility for all the churches being closed at the moment they can certainly take some comfort that these hymns have perhaps spurred the coming of the ‘Antichrist!’

Love the album artwork too!

(7.5/10 Pete Woods)