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Royal Arch Blaspheme: II

Combining the talents of guitarist John Gelso (Profanatica) and N. Imperial (Kreig), there was never going to be any doubt as to the sort of black metal mayhem that Royal Arch Blaspheme would spew forth. So it proved on the duo's self titled debut, with album number two, cunningly titled II going even further to ram home the point. The duo have now expanded into a full band, but the ethos is the same, with gargantuan ideas set free to rampage and terrorize at will. The effect being brutally mesmerising, with dirty guitar assaults matched by the shredding vocals from Imperial. The whole conglomeration of aural delights making for a paranoia inspiring sensory attack that disorientates as it builds.

Songs flow into one another, with nary a pause for breath and while that can leave the album as a whole feeling more than a little one paced, the overriding emotion is one of an oppressive force that gets a huge kick from pulverising everything in its path. Yes, this is old ground being trodden on and yes, there's an argument that Royal Arch Blaspheme should be making some attempt to stretch the black metal genre. Instead as the entire Hells Headbangers roster seems to, this is metal music doing what it does best and with no intention for apologising for any lack of subtlety or innovation.

Melody cowers in the corner, eyes darting, desperately hunting for a means of escape, restraint is tied to the chair, light blinding its eyes, which are forced open, red and bloodshot from the experience. While the very mention of the word "keyboards" results in instant removal of the tongue, by pure brutal force. This is black metal before it was sanitised and sent to tidy its room, leaving you rather jittery at the thought of being left alone with it for any length of time.

In other words, as it should be, before it became a fashion or a trend.

Track Listing
1. When The Cruel Nail Pierced Thy Tender Hands And Feet
2. Five Sacred Wounds
3. Lust, Blood, Sacrum
4. Ashes Of The Holy Ghost
5. Profane Rite
6. Psalm 39
7. Resurrection Of Depravity
8. Pious, Suffer In Corrosion
9. Vama-Marga (Parts 1 and 2)
10. Broken Word Of God

Added: October 1st 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: HellsHeadbangers Online
Hits: 1606
Language: english

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