Thursday, June 28, 2012
The Royal Arch Blaspheme - II
I knew 10 seconds into The Royal Arch Blaspheme's sophomore effort II that this record was going to be awesome. How'd I know you ask? Three sparse cymbal chimes give way to a disgusting landslide of ichor drenched vocals, grimy guitars and a putrid bass. Not only is this stuff absolutely crushing, but it's as unholy and vile as you can get.
Comprised of Krieg main-man N. Imperial and Profanatica guitarist John Gelso (credited with drums and bass their previous album), The Royal Arch Blaspheme lumber through 42 minutes of midpaced black metal akin to Gelso's Profanatica, but not without a touch of their own vodoo.
Vocals are put front and center, and rightfully so as they're a worthy match for Gelso's Stygian guitar which shares space perfectly with the clunky Incantation like bass. A production job such as this one is a rare feat as it finds that sweet spot between dirty and strong, punchy yet atmopsheric without any dilution or vibes of studio magic.
"Lust Blood Sacrum" sets the standard of quality as it jumps from unrelenting punches to groovier sections that float in Gelso's snake like riffing then finally moving in a great transition to the next track "Ashes of the Holy Ghost" which is absolutely seamless and badass, making both tracks feel like one.
The Profanatica comparisons are impossible to ignore as N. Imperial does an extremely similar, albeit with his own twist, vocal performance reminiscent of Ledney's trademark distinguishable rasp. Along with the vocals, and even the drums which mimic Profanatica's mid-pace groove, Gelso's fretwork feel right out of Profanatica's back catalog along with a handful of twists, leads, and riffs that fit well and feel fresh and new; a good example being the catchy chorus of "Ashes of the Holy Ghost."
While Gelso's been kicking around the corpse paint for the better part of 20+ years now, no one plays like him and no other bands can sound this vile while still having something to head bang too. The overall grooviness and viscosity coupled with a dense and putrid sound make The Royal Arch Blaspheme a bludgeoning force of unholy black metal that looks to profane and head bang whenever it can.
Coming soon through Hell's Headbangers, be sure to snatch it up when you can.