PROFANATION: Into Cascades Of Blood And Burning Soil
Release year: 2019
Label: Hostile Media
I’m not really a vinyl fanatic. I’m through and through a CD guy. I like the convenience of the format. But there is one thing vinyl has going for it: a more limited playing time. Yeah, I know, sounds like an odd remark, but hear me out. When you’ve got a bit over half an hour to use, divided into two halves of just over 15 minutes each, you really have to think about what to put on your album. You can’t just take everything you’ve written and rehearsed and call that the album (unless you’ve got 30 minutes of material). No, you have to do some culling. Leave only the strongest material. No filler, all killer.
And that’s just what Profanation from Germany should have done for their fifth album. Clocking in at a lengthy 54 minutes, there’s just far too much stuff here. Into Cascades Of Blood And Burning Soil just drags on and on and on; when you’ve had your fill, they shove another helping down your throat.
And that’s a damn shame, because had the album been condensed down to only the strongest tracks and a more sensible running time, this could be a pretty fine death metal album. It’s got a lot going for it: a good sound, some decent, heavy riffwork, adequate guttural growls and a nice variation between fist-pumping mid-tempo sections and breakneck grinding. Maybe there’s nothing here to raise the album to classic status, but more than enough… well, that’s the thing, isn’t it! There’s literally more than enough on the album, there’s simply too much.
In a nutshell, were the album some 20 minutes shorter, I’d be recommending this to any and all fans of classic, US-style death metal with a brutal bent, from fans of Massacre to Cannibal Corpse and what have you. Maybe Profanation are a bit run-of-the-mill a lot of the time, but for the most part they do what they do quite adequately.
But by overstaying its welcome, this becomes an album I just can’t recommend.
It’s truly a shame that Into Cascades Of Blood And Burning Soil is a bit of a wasted opportunity for such a reason, for something so easily avoided. But it’s also a very common blunder to make; Profanation are by no means the first (nor the last) band to just cram too much material on an album. Really, when an album starts to cross the 35 minute mark, you should always, always, sit back and think if it’s worth it. If you could slim it down. Keep it more concise. Most often you can, and probably even make the album stronger in the process.
As it stands, Into Cascades Of Blood And Burning Soil is too long, far too long, but otherwise a decent albeit rather generic death metal album.