BLASPHAMAGOATACHRIST: Bastardizing The Purity
Release year: 2020
Label: Nuclear War Now! Productions
It takes a special kind of guts to name your band Blasphamagoatachrist… I mean, any way you look at it, that’s a pretty awkward name. And that’s probably the most generous description of it I’ve seen. But then, when you look at the line-up of the band, it consists of just the kind of people you can expect to have that gall, that bullheaded drive to ignore sensibility and just go ahead – and that in a positive sense.
I mean, at the helm you have none other than Nocturnal Grave Desecrator And Black Winds of Blasphemy fame. On bass, until his lamentable passing earlier this year, Sabbaoth from Goatpenis, and bandmate Virrugus on guitar. And on drums, T. Antichrist from Canadian Antichrist. And, as the most observant of you may have noticed, the name is a mash-up of the three aforementioned bands.
With that bit of background information, it’ll come as no surprise that Blasphamagoatachrist play that crude, chaotic, straightforward and boneheaded style of black metal called bestial black metal, or war metal. And it’s only fitting that they do, considering the vocalist is of the band that invented the whole style, and considering that Blasphemy never got around to releasing a third album. I don’t know if you can say there’s an actual void to fill here, as there are countless pretenders to the throne (several of them quite capable, too!) who’ve done their best to make up for the absence of a third Blasphemy album, but it certainly hits a sweet spot.
So you know the drill: fast, chaotic, noisy, messy and crude old school black metal where the riffing is a barrage of chaos, the vocals are a hostile bark, tempos are for the most part speedy, and the solos make early Slayer solos sound sensible. Melody? Nowhere to be found. I suppose you can say you find nods towards old school thrash here and there or whatever, but it seems futile and pretentious to indulge in this wankery, because there’s a far more straightforward way to describe what Bastardizing The Purity sounds like. Which is: Blasphemy style black metal. Everything else is redundant.
Considering the high calibre members of the band – people who’ve helped shape the face of black metal – it’s hard to keep expectations on a realistic level. Even though you know the odds are stacked against you, you’re expecting another Fallen Angel Of Doom. Which you of course won’t be getting. But still, Bastardizing The Purity is a fine album.
Comparing to Blasphemy’s classic albums, and the best of the bands following in the Canadian legends’ footsteps, Bastardizing The Purity doesn’t reach quite the same level of intense, sheer balls-to-the-wall level of frenetic madness. Instead, the madness on the album seems just a bit toned down. It’s still rabid, vicious and explosive, but it’s not quite on that borderline of chaos where it seems like it could fall into disorder at any given moment. Dare I say it? Blasphamagoatachrist sounds like a slightly middle-aged version of the “parent” acts… which is, I suppose, exactly what it is in many ways.
I guess it is pretty obvious that Blasphamagoatachrist aren’t out there to win any new friends. Instead, they know whom they appeal to, what kind of people are into this sound and will never get tired of it, and serve an unhealthy helping to keep them satisfied. This isn’t treading into any new territory for the musicians involved, or broaden the horizons of Blasphemy-style black metal. And that’s fine. I wouldn’t expect it to, or even want it to.
However, it’s kind of hard to put a rating on the album. As said, it’s obviously no Fallen Angel Of Doom (or Gods Of War for that matter). But it’s equally obviously not a bad or trite album in any sense of the word. It’s a bit predictable, a bit unimaginative, stylewise very conservative – but it’s also perfectly adequate and achieves exactly what it sets out to do. It’s not one for the ages, maybe not even one for “album of the year” lists, but it’s still an album anyone into bestial black metal should get. So in the end, I guess the right score for it is…
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