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Blasphemy – “Gods of War + Blood Upon The Altar” – [Osmose Productions]

Blasphemy - Gods Of War  Blood Upon The Altar - Front

BLASPHEMY… BLASPHEMY… the legendary black/death metal band known for haunting Ross Bay Cemetery in Vancouver, British Columbia, beating the shit out of people and generally being terrifying Satanists. So far as I know they didn’t murder anyone, but musically they make the Norwegians look like fucking pussies. Originally convening in 1985 to play covers of Destruction, Bathory, Kreator and Sodom, by 1987 these Canadian skinheads had begun writing their own songs inspired by an assortment of extreme acts including Mayhem, Nunslaughter, Agathocles and (particularly) Brazilian bands like Sarcofago. If their work does not represent the origin of ‘war metal,’ it’s close. This cult spawned Conqueror from its ranks and influenced seminal bands like Beherit, Incantation/Profanatica and Black Witchery, as well as newer acts such as Proclamation, Demonomancy and Blasphemophagher– a lot of the stuff on Nuclear War Now!, come to think of it, would have been unthinkable without Blasphemy. This 2001 CD compilation contains two of their three studio releases (Blasphemy, who are still playing shows, are a rather underachieving band)– 1993′s ‘Gods of War’ album (t.s 1-10) and 1989′s ‘Blood Upon The Altar’ demo (t.s 11-19). ‘Gods of War’– for which the band added bassist and guitarist ‘Ace Gustapo Necrosleezer & Vaginal Commands,’ allowing ‘Nocturnal Grave Desecrator & Black Winds’ to concentrate on vocals– is probably Blasphemy’s most cleanly produced recording, and it is for perhaps this reason (and the effect of time on quality of musicianship) that it feels more like conventional death/thrash metal than their other work. It’s not as good as ‘Fallen Angel of Doom…,’ their definitive debut album, but it’s still pretty fucking good. The demo, however, is the better material here– the black, rather than the death, is emphasized, the rabid-dog vocals crazed beyond belief, the simple tremolo riffs stark and luminescent amongst the static blast drumming. T.s 3, 4, 9+12 are very short, grind-influenced cuts. T.s 11 and 14 might be called brief dark ambient pieces. T.s 1, 7, 8+19 have atmospheric intros.The first time I heard Blasphemy’s impossibly ugly, sloppy and monotonous take on extreme metal, I thought it sounded like shit– now, they’re one of my favorite bands. CRUCIAL LISTENING.

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on November 26, 2013 at 12:34 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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