One indication of a classic is that on first listen, you know you'll have to hear it again, and again, and again, to follow all the arteries of precious stone to their sparkling veins and shimmering capillaries. This would describe Blasphemy, a mini-encyclopedia's worth of musical thinking. John McEntee's repute as a guitarist, justly deserved, reveals its true range on this album; like Tony Iommi, McEntee's a riff god, throwing out a thousand ideas with disciplined abandon where most six-string shooters would be content with his scraps.
Playing this disc from top to bottom rewards even the impatient among us, but to get the goods I'd suggest paying careful attention to the way the songs unfold, from rippling harmonic dynamics to chromatic rolls and pumped-up power chords; the mid-tempo "Once Holy Throne" demonstrates just how much contained force this band's got. Boasting one of the season's best song titles ["The Sacrilegious Apocalypse of Righteousness and Agonizing Dementia (The Final Defilement Of Your Lord")], Blasphemy also breaks clean of the pack to convey some of the sharpest songwriting in death metal. A keeper.