It took them four years of what I assume was profane contemplation, but Blaspherian have finally returned to the fold with the release of their first LP Infernal Warriors of Death
. Earlier material such as Allegiance to the Will of Damnation
certainly made a name for these Texan blasphemers, but I feel safe in saying that this is record is what the band has been working towards since its inception. As it stands, this is the best piece of death metal I’ve heard so far this year – let me tell you why.
Infernal Warriors of Death
can be initially off-putting due to its almost impenetrable nature – this is a very dense record and it’s not difficult to mistake its opacity with dullness. Much like Ignivomous
, Blaspherian take the intensity of early Immolation
and combine it with the filthiness of Incantation
, resulting in a structurally proficient slab of death metal – what makes
this record is inarguably the composition of its eight tracks.
Right from the very first track, one can’t help but notice how Blaspherian begin with a certain motif and make subtle variations around it, slowly enhancing the atmosphere and building it up. The opener ‘The Disgrace of God’ is actually one of the best examples of this – blasting sections of brutality worm their way through doom-laden terrain, yet the focus and rhythm of the song is never lost. This compositional element is in a way reminiscent of Immolation’s structuralist approach to death metal, though Infernal Warriors of Death
certainly ‘sounds’ a lot more like Incantation than anything.
It might be worth noting that there are no lead breaks or solos on this album – it’s entirely carried through by devastating riff after riff, though this is by no means a complaint. While the composition of the songs here can be appreciated, there’s absolutely no shortage of face-destroying riffs. Blaspherian make sure to highlight these within their songs, basing their structures on how best to emphasise the attention-grabbing passages. One of the best examples is definitely the title track, which toys around with riffs that lead you on without any real closure, but then in the last minute just pummel you with one of the heaviest riffs I’ve heard.
Most of you who are actually interested in this record will be glad to hear that it just keeps giving and giving. I’ve had this on constant rotation for several weeks now and it hasn’t really become stale at all – if anything, it just gets better the more I familiarise myself with it. For fans of early 90s US death metal, fans of the real heavy shi
t, Blaspherian will be a breath of fresh air in a scene full of lesser revivalists. Don’t miss out on this.