Review Summary: 1st krieg
Canadian black metal band Blasphemy has been around for quite a long time, yet released such precious little material. Since the formation of the band back in 1984, they have subsequently released one demo, two full-length LP’s, and one live album. Each member in the band is known by a ridiculous, lengthy “ritual” name (as the band themselves put it), and their music, especially on their debut album Fallen Angel Of Doom
is nothing but a straight-up black metal assault which was intended to send those progressive and avant-garde “black” metal pussies running for the door. It doesn’t sound like a formula which would work, especially considering all those other supposed “tr00 kvlt” bands out there making fools of themselves, but strangely enough, whether it be the sheer ferocity of the music or the time when the album was released, or a combination of both, it works nearly flawlessly.
1990’s Fallen Angel Of Doom
is indeed a minimalistic piece of music, but that doesn’t mean that it is boring and unoriginal. See, back in 1990, Bathory was just releasing Hammerheart
, Burzum and Emperor hadn’t even released a demo yet, Darkthrone was still death metal, and it was a year before Mayhem vocalist Dead gave his shotgun a blowjob. So, with the Scandinavian scene still shifting to its second wave, across the Atlantic in Canada, Blasphemy was still holding strong to a sound very reminiscent of the very early days of black metal, a thick black metal sound like early Bathory, but still clinging to some thrash and death influences. However, the album is still distinctly black metal, with a really muddy production, endless blast beats and near incoherent riffing from heavily distorted guitars.
Like I mentioned earlier, minimalism doesn’t mean that the album is boring. It’s quite the contrary, actually, because by keeping the song lengths short and the intensity through the roof, along with numerous shredding guitar solos, abrupt track changes, and eerie vocal arrangements, listeners are kept on their toes. It’s through this clever way of keeping the listener guessing that Blasphemy really shine with their very distinct flavor of black metal. The vocals aren’t raspy, but more guttural in a death metal kind of way which brings to mind the vocals of Finnish black metal band Beherit. They do, however, fit the unrelenting music damn near perfectly.
Fallen Angel Of Doom
doesn’t bother with the hassle of keyboards or progressive song structures or anything of the sort, because what Blasphemy set out to do was to create a really impressionable, fairly inaccessible, and unrelenting piece of black metal. They do that and more, and with Fallen Angel Of Doom
the band created a criminally overlooked album and one of the best records from the first wave of black metal, an album which is sadly overshadowed by the rise of the Norwegian scene shortly after Fallen Angel Of Doom
was released. If you call yourself a black metal fan, or appreciate the works of early Bathory, or just want to hear a black metal album from the early 90’s which isn’t Scandinavian but is just as good, you owe it to yourself to hear this album.