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It is with great pleasure that we welcome the new release from Floridian death-blacksters. Or black-deathsters. Or whatever you want to call them. The unholy power-trio of Black Witchery has returned with their first studio recording since 5 years and they’re here to claim throne of the infamous Ross Bay Cult since “Inferno Of Sacred Destruction” contains their most crushing sound ever.
Albeit runs at only 24 minutes, the new album provides blackmetal at the highest intensity with Tregenda’s guitars building a granite wall of grinding riffs, whereas Imperial on bass and Vaz on drums give enough depth and volume to simply destroy your ears. And for a final touch, you get vocals which although harsh and hateful, they can be distinguished and sung-along. A fact that certainly pleases me.
However, none of the above would matter if “Inferno...” wasn’t full of songs, where, under their pure noise, with distinct structure, dynamics and a vagrant feeling which could go even go back to mighty Motorhead. The opener “Holocaustic Church Devastation” and the title can easily prove this, where “Ascension of the Obscure Moon” that closes the album is almost epic! So here you go, it’s 24 minutes of non-stop sonic attack and to add little spice, there’s a Conqueror cover, a live DVD from a 2009 show in Helsinki and some lyrical help from members of Hellenic blacksters Goatvomit.
So, no more words are needed, the three guys -who have been together since 1997- are back in business and it’s the best you can get if you’re a follower of Ross Bay scene. All praise the goat!
Originally written for:
It’s no secret by now that I’m a fan of things that are unapologetically over-the-top. I can’t think of a modern metal band that embodies this more spectacularly than Florida’s Black Witchery. Everything about the trio, from their Christ-beheading, angel-raping album art to their death-shrouded, graveyard-skulking band photos, to the unrelenting, monochromatic racket that is their music, positively screams OTT. What is it that makes this so appealing? I’ve always liked bands that put a lot of thought into all aspects of their presentation, bands that are sonically, lyrically and visually cohesive, an approach which in turn typically leads to bands being labeled OTT. Black Witchery takes this concept to its illogical conclusion (see also Portal and Gorgoroth for other prime examples). Music this crude, filthy and evil simply wouldn’t have the same effect if it came in a discreet brown wrapper and was being played by dudes in jeans and t-shirts. Indeed, the awful beauty of Black Witchery is the cruel totality of their assault, blasphemy as sensory overload.
From the get-go, Black Witchery’s intent has been crystal clear. Smash the skull of the listener with the hammer of Satan. The purity of their approach is admirable, an unwavering dedication to battering the listener into submission while worshipping at the altars of Blasphemy and (early) Beherit. Nothing at all has changed on their third full-length, Inferno of Sacred Destruction. Clocking in at less than twenty-five minutes, the album is the sonic equivalent of blitzkrieg. Wikipedia describes blitzkrieg (or “lightning war”) as follows:
"Concentrating overwhelming force at high speed to break through enemy lines, and, once the latter is broken, proceeding without regard to its flank. Through constant motion, the blitzkrieg attempts to keep its enemy off-balance, making it difficult to respond effectively at any given point before the front has already moved on."
What might me be truly overwhelming about Black Witchery’s satanic salvo is the fact that it’s the product of only three men, rather than an army. Most bands with twice as many members would have difficulty invoking the level of musical devastation that Inferno of Sacred Destruction is positively crackling with. But it isn’t about the number of guitars, amps or bodies in the band. It’s about conviction. Impurath, Tregenda and Vaz are positively possessed by their music, three metal diehards taking the power trio format to frightening levels of extremity; no melody, no variation, no fucking mercy.
Of course, some might consider these same traits to be Black Witchery’s weaknesses. If you’re coming to Inferno of Sacred Destruction looking for things like catchiness or songs you can tell apart, you’re missing the point completely. Inferno of Sacred Destruction is not about these things. The raw, ugly monotony of the music at first overpowers, but eventually becomes hypnotic, a trance of sonic ultraviolence that drags you into Black Witchery’s world of hate and death and damnation. By the time you’re fully aware of what’s happening it’s over, just as quickly as it began.
Originally written for http://thatshowkidsdie.com
There are good albums, there are great albums, there are fantastic albums, then there is BLACK WITCHERY.
Okay, to start with, this album is only 20 something minutes long. There was a 5 year break between the previous one and this one and, honestly, nothing changed at all since then. If anything, music became even more monotonous. No single new riff. Hell, there are almost no melodies here. It's still the same Black Death jackhammer fest as it was back then. The drumming is as monotonous as ever. The guitars are buzzing and the sound is very far from the (so popular today) Abyss or Necromorbus polishedness, so it's hard to distinguish separate notes from this mess. As I mentioned, it's only 20 minutes long, but even a minute of this is enough for every good citizen to turn this off and throw the CD into a garbage disposal unit. I imagine, christians catch serious nausea from this music, pregnant women give birth to stillborn babies, while children, that are already born, receive very late term abortions. The lyrics are simple and, in general, they retell the same old story in the same very words, as if the person, who wrote them, has a very limited vocabulary and doesn't plan to learn anything new any time soon. A traditional cover of Conqueror finishes the picture. An ambient song amidst the massacre briefly changes the pace, but not for long, so who cares. The cover has absolutely no new ideas to it whatsoever. Just a bunch of disgusting demon creatures and a burning church in a traditional Chris Moyen style. We all saw and heard it all a thousand of times already.
In short, it's Black Metal AS IT SHOULD BE. My absolutely favourite album of 2010 and an absolute MUST for those of you, who values real substance over worthless image wankery.
For exquisite perverts, the normal non-exclusive edition features a bonus DVD, so you could see this hell live on your TV/computer screens.
Originally written for From the Pulpits of Abomination blog: http://from-the-pulpits.blogspot.com/
I bought Black Witchery's Inferno of Sacred Destruction by accident, after seeing it and thinking, "I know there was a band with 'witch' in their name with a new album I wanted to check out." Call it a happy accident.
Black Witchery is a Floridian band that's sometimes been called "war metal", an ill-defined tag that generally means thrashy, ugly, unrelentingly aggressive black metal. The tag is appropriate. Every track on here is fast and aggressive; the title track is the slowest one on here, but even it couldn't be considered mid-paced. And the music is definitely ugly. Think early Norwegian black metal heard coming up from a crypt, with all the echo and deeper register you'd expect from the depths of the tomb. The vocals are a deeper version of a black metal rasp, along with the occasional inhuman gurgle, and all the instruments play a whole lot of notes, real fast.
To go along with the evil sound, they've got the imagery and song titles (probably lyrics too, if you can discern them--I caught something about tearing an angel apart). They would probably be offensive if they weren't hilariously over the top. Highlights of the album like "Holocaustic Church Devastation" and "Barbarism Domination" are perfect examples of their Dethklok-esque sense of humor. And when you see their band picture on Metal Archives it becomes clear these guys have it down even better than the creators of that show.
To break up the aggression, they've wisely included some eerie ambient sections and "Sepulchral Witchcraft", which is little more than ambient. This leaves you with only 7 short songs, including a cover. Even including the intro and interludes, the total runtime is just over 22 minutes. And they call it a full-length, which to me seems like an outright lie. In my opinion, anything shorter than 30 minutes is an EP, regardless of the standards of the particular band or subgenre. But the length is a good thing, as I could see this becoming tiresome after much longer. It doesn't have a chance to get old. On the downside, there's only one solo (a freaky atonal one on the closing track). And they curiously end some of the tracks with a fadeout, something that seems out of place with these short, punchy songs.
The Verdict: This is an entertaining EP (by any other name), and I think these guys need to get hired to work on a spinoff to Metalocalypse. If you're looking for something completely evil-sounding and aggressive, but doesn't take itself too seriously, I would recommend it if you could get it at an EP price.
originally written for http://fullmetalattorney.blogspot.com/
I have never been particularly fond of "war metal" bands. Black Witchery's brand of music has never appealed to me, just like how bands like Conqueror and Revenge never did. Their 2001 and 2005 full length albums were originally considered too "raw" and "bestial" for my liking, and I consciously avoided listening to them even after much recommendation by friends who knew my musical preferences. However, when Black Witchery's latest album was released, I decided to put aside past experiences with the band's music and give this a try.
Similar to past albums, Inferno of Sacred Destruction clocks in at less than 30 minutes, and is even the shortest full length released by them to date, with 8 tracks at only 22 minutes. As per Black Witchery style, the band begins their onslaught without any hesitation right from the opening track. Impurath's vocals are as murderous as ever, with a harsh growl not unlike those of James Read's . The layering of Impurath's usual shouts on top of a deep growl certainly added a nice touch to the music overall. While the guitar work on the album is nothing spectacular, it is the usual Black Witchery fare where the band's point seems to be to get their brand of blasphemy across as straightforward as possible.
The included cover of Conqueror's Kingdom Against Kingdom is instantly recognisable (unlike many bands that attempt covers and horribly butcher up the songs) and is also performed impeccably, retaining the evil spirit of the original song, yet sounding like a modern update of the track at the same time.
The only thing that could have possibly dragged down this album though was instrumental Sepulchral Witchcraft. While the track certainly reeked of evil, I personally would have preferred it more if Black Witchery had included another of their usual creations instead.
With Inferno of Sacred Destruction, Black Witchery has once again managed to retain the title of one of the most blasphemous band out of America. Just like all other war metal bands, this album is not everyone's cup of tea and if you hate or can't stand bands that play war metal in general, then forget about checking Inferno of Sacred Destruction out. Just stick to your Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth then.
Upon seeing that the only previous review for this album valued it at a lowly 57%, I really felt obligated to write something. Black Witchery has consistently proven to be an enduring and powerful presence in the US metal underground and with Inferno, Black Witchery really perfected their attack. As anyone who has listened to Desecration of the Holy Kingdom knows, Black Witchery is about nonstop atonal blasting insanity. I think the mix on Inferno is actually the best of anything this band has put out yet and in terms of riffs I like Inferno even a bit more than Upheaval. Stylistically, there isn't any major shift from previous material, only a more precise and devastating presentation. So if you liked anything else this band has done, its impossible to not get into this album like I've been.
Vocally this is also my favorite Black Witchery record. The tone of Impurath's vocals is a bit lower than the previous records and as a result has a more powerful presence in the mix. The fact that this release is under 30 minutes I see as a good thing. Black Witchery is an extreme band, I think one of the most in the US right now, that is based on the blast beat. I found the run time to be extremely palatable, ultimately it was enough to satisfy and to leave me wanting more! If you like atonal riff insanity and blastbeats it is impossible to listen to this album once and be done with it! The mix between backbeats, everything-at-once beats, and blastbeats keeps this album dynamic but constnat. There is no cheese on this album whatsoever, no waste-of-time buildups or breakdowns, just unrelenting black metal warfare. I've loved Desecration and Upheaval, but compared to those the mix on Inferno sits better, as the guitar and the bass finally seem to be perfectly on the same level creating a blasphemic in-your-face wall of noise that rides on the constant war-vibration of the drums.
The title track is my personal favorite on this, especially how it is structured. Tthe song structures on this album are simply outstanding. On Inferno, for example, 90% of the song is a galloping backbeat only to be broken up briefly by an outstandingly fast static-blast portion; on top of all this the subtle riff variations maintain consistency yet make the song flow. Also, the Conqueror cover was a pleasant surprise. In terms of 2010 black metal full-lengths, I think Black Witchery takes the cake, with Diocletian's War of All Against All at a close second. I just find myself listening to Inferno much more because the song lengths and the pace is perfect, not to mention the riffs on this album are mesmerizing. I have nothing but respect for this band and hope I can catch them live in the near future. I recently bought the Nuclear War Now Fest 1 DVD and got seriously stoked after watching their performance. All in all, Black Witchery is doing everything right in my opinion, and I think this is obviously their best record yet.
There are few collectives of Christ trampling individuals here in the States that can quite match the level of miserable power being manifest through the recordings of Black Witchery, the Florida band responsible for such sacrilege as 2005's Upheaval of Satanic Might. However, I'm afraid their level of caustic, narrow, unrelenting aggression does come at a cost here, as there are almost no dynamics here aside from those of planting your skull under their heathen boots and then crushing, crushing, crushing, their bloated, hostile weight seeping through your cranium and making paste of the soft, pinkish contents that may or may not be contained within.
Yes, Inferno of Sacred Destruction is predictable, a one trick pony if you will, but a nightmare steed nonetheless that peppers its bleak, "Intromancy" or "Sepulchral Witchcraft" interludes with carnal sewage the likes of "Holocaustic Church Devastation", "Antichrist Order of Holy Death", and "Kingdom Against Kingdom". No, this is not a bunch of guys you want to drink egg nog and sing Christmas carols with. Their godless tumult would not only provide an instant ticket to the space below purgatory, but a season's fucking pass to the Damned Soul Olympics. Incredibly oppressive, raw guitars bludgeon over noisy, warlike drums while Impurath's hate is poured free like a conflagration of concrete, and at best you're going to get a number like "Ascension of the Obscure Moon", the unforgiving 4 minute closer which sounds remarkably similar to the rest of the contents.
Sadly, while I can appreciate the band's charnel onslaught, the riffs here simply did nothing for me, bludgeoning along like the very primacy of chaos from which this genre once originated, but never once configuring into hooks that are worth a damn. Thus, you are left with only the bludgeoning atmosphere provoked through their mesh of instruments and torn throats, and I found myself drifting away after even a few minutes. The album's pretty short, only about 22 minutes, so it never really becomes boring, but it's difficult to pay it much thought when you are sure nothing titillating is hovering at the edge of perception. That said, I don't really have anything negative to say. If you appreciate black metal at its most barbaric and primitive, and seek nothing but the affectations of loathing and treachery that this band revel in, or the Osmose and Hells Headbangers imprints in general, then it's not exactly a waste of space.