Review Summary: Develops melody in the theatrical and primal style of American black metal, all while upholding the violent blasphemy for which the genre is known.
American black metal grew up with a different form than the European one. While the old world bands focused on melody and mood, American bands focused on atmosphere through utter deconstruction and reversion to the feral.
Leading the charge was Havohej, a band sharing its principal songwriter with Profanatica, in 1993; fifteen years later, Profanatica returns with an album that updates the American style to meet the European halfway, using long melodies that combine into surging, lawless conclusions.
Paul Ledney, the songwriter shared between these bands, started in death metal, doing a stint in Revenant before helping to start Incantation, and in the process contributing ideas to numerous American death metal bands. His influence can be heard in early Incantation and later Demoncy, as well as clearly in the songwriting on "Profanatitas de Domonatia."
Ledney's style is theatrical. Songs start on simple riffs, and break abruptly into others, then return for grand conclusions that are sometimes as simple as repeating the early riff under blasphemy-spewing vocals. His primary instrument is the drumset, and he puts it to good use here by keeping a beat moving urgently just under the more defined changes in guitar, adding a mystical subtlety.
This music is as raw and primal as Sarcofago, Blasphemy, or Von, who join Ledney in his new world quest to deconstruct the happy world of no-culture we've embraced here, as opposed to the Europeans burdened with history, customs and values. His vocal rasp will remain in your head for weeks with its compulsive violation of all purity and tendency to bend itself around the beat.
Where this album will baffle listeners is in tone. The guitar tone is warm, fuzzy and full, which is the antithesis of the black metal thin and raw; the riffs are also longer and cross-quote each other. These riffs grow into melodic themes that played on a single string at a time arch and soar over the rugged rhythms set up by the early parts of each song, providing a vision of angelic deliverance -- if the angel is Satan.
Musically, this material is stronger than earlier Havohej; artistically, it is not as distinctive because it is less theatrical and more musical, and replacements much of the feral rhythm work with melody and complexity. This CD is a challenging listening that also grabs you in the gut, forces blasphemies from your throat, and re-dedicates your life to Satan, and you will enjoy this process.