BLASPHEMATORY: Depths Of The Obscurity
Release year: 2019/2020
Label: Nihil Verum Nisi Mors/Nuclear Winter Records
US duo Blasphematory certainly don’t aim low; in the promo sheet, they invoke the names of such gloomy luminaries of ancient Finnish death metal murk as Demigod, Abhorrence and Demilich. It’s one thing to stake a claim in “new old school” territory, methinks, and another to boldly claim, as Blasphematory do, that they “can only be compared to…”, and then namedrop these acts.
I mean, basically, that implies not only a stylistic comparison, but a qualitative one as well, doesn’t it? Well, let’s see what Blasphematory amount to…
First things first: one has to admit that the twosome that constitute Blasphematory have done their homework. This sounds authentic. There’s murk, there’s rot, there’s doom, there’s gloom, there’s aggression and speed and lurching tempos. There are the ill-foreboding, ominous guitar melodies. The sound, with plodding drums and a guitar tone that sounds like a mildewed version of the crisp, classic Swedish production, certainly does invoke thoughts of good old Finnish death metal. Demilich, you can forget right from the bat. But Abhorrence are not a bad point of comparison at all… especially considering the cult Finnish act, who later spawned Amorphis, never got around to doing an album, only an EP and some demos, and as such their recorded output sounds considerably rawer and more rough-around-the-edges than those acts who got to make an album. Of course, relatively speaking: there’s very little of genuine polish in any old school Finnish death metal. It is this kind of raw, not-too-tight, primal death metal that Blasphematory perform.
And yes, I know I mentioned Abhorrence there, implying not only a stylistic comparison, but a qualitative one as well.
Because truth is, Depths Of The Obscurity is very good. True, its nature might be a bit derivative and a bit of a pastiche, but I can hardly fault the guys for bowing to perhaps the greatest era and sound of death metal ever. So, accepting that Depths Of The Obscurity won’t blaze new trail or conquer new territory for the genre, this is a truly solid piece of US-made old school Finnish death metal. At the best of times, so much so, that if you didn’t know better, you might think you stumbled upon some forgotten Finnish artifact of fabled yore.
So, the simple bottom line is that – to reference the beginning of this review – Blasphematory amount to a whole lot of good. Not only do they nail the style and sound of primordial death metal, they do an impressively good job at creating an album that’s actually worth listening to. An album that’s more than just an excercise in style; one with actual substance.
Depths Of The Obscurity is an impressive album. The only thing I can conceive someone raising valid criticism about is it’s lack of originality… but we’ve been over that already, haven’t we? When you do what you do this well, lack of originality is forgiven.