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The one thing which makes Pseudogod stand out among other representatives of the death/black metal scenes as a whole, is their unparalleled mastery at creating a sense of monumentality – a quality so crucial and inherent to the genre, yet also one that oftentimes falls by the wayside. To call their magnum opus “Deathwomb Catechesis” – a name which fits perfectly with the aforementioned notion of vastness – simply a “brutal” album would be an understatement, as its depth and cohesion, both conceptual as well as atmospheric, easily transcends all of the usual preconceptions related to this sort of music.
The richness of sound, unwavering throughout the album’s entire duration, is on par with, if not exceeding the other powerhouses in the genre - Teitanblood and Grave Miasma, to name but a few. Familiar vibrant riffing, heavily reverberated and distant, constructs an impenetrable wall of noise, easily comparable to the violent and unrelenting sound of a great whirring buzz-saw, while the thunder like pulsing of drums – a muddy but extremely impactful kick, and a fiery, volatile snare - dances between mid-tempo and classic blast beats, further demarcating the peculiar infernal texture exclusive to this record. In true black/death metal fashion, vocals are strong, frenzied and passionate – lowest of growls, proclaiming deep devotion to the unholy cause. Still, though the drowned and raw production of each separate segment is memorable on its own, in actuality it is merely an instrument towards realization of a qualitatively different totality – a larger-than-life, unforgiving immensity, a striving towards the intrinsic enormity of a religious experience. And it shows.
Catecheses are, in broadest of terms, instructions used to educate followers of Christianity, show them the “only true way”, usually by word of mouth.“Deathwomb…” represents a perverted interpretation of this concept. It functions as a whole through consistent and intense instrumentation, paired with shockingly effective visual imagery and becomes in itself a proclamation of fiendish grandeur, a “message for the masses” reaching far beyond the mundane statements of today’s black metal. As such, it should hold a spot in any loyal fan’s collection.
The first thing that attracted me to Russia’s Blackened Death Metal band Psuedogod was just how insane the album artwork is. Sick cover! Deathwomb Catechesis is the bands first full-length album after a few years of slugging it out with demos and split releases. The experience earned thanks to those releases has proven instrumental for the band; as here on their debut they sound confident and bursting with hellfire.
Psuedogod’s style I would say was predominately Black Metal, and I think the Death Metal elements to their sound mostly lie in the riffs and some of the more intense blasting moments. The production is raw and virulent, and has a lot more in touch with Black Metal. The overall sound of the album is genuinely apocalyptic and I would say that this probably isn’t for the weak of heart. Pseudogod is here to punish you and these guys don’t beat around the bush.
There are riffs all over the place, firing at brute force like in a shooting range; only there are no walls or any protective gear. One misstep and you’re going to be taken out, if the riffs don’t do it then the machine gun drumming certainly will do. It seems Psuedogod must have used an infinite ammo cheat too as these guys seem unable to run out of steam; any moment the band drop down the intensity is to envelope your broken, cowering demeanour and plunge it into the depths of hell.
Performances across Deathwomb Catechesis are intense, with demented growls echoing from the watery depths, guitars scything across disfigured plains of crimson and a rhythm section thrashing like a gargantuan horror spawned in the pits of your sickening, most deep-seated of nightmares. Fans of bestial, flesh-ripping Black/Death Metal would do well to pick up this release, and I’m sure if the denizens of the underworld aren’t already clutching copies of this release in their disfigured maws they’ll be carving up a catastrophic mess on the way to their nearest record store to grab a copy. This one comes recommended to fans of the style, but those outside of the extreme Metal circles might want to duck and cover if this release comes anywhere near them.
Originally written for http://www.metal-observer.com
Black metal bands raging in the heart of Holy Russia steppes are usually known for their distinct lack of subtlety and Pseudogod is doing everything to confirm this impression. Active since 2004, this quartet from Perm, a town at the foot of the Ural Mountains, is launching a debut album worthy of the name, after several split-CD and other demos. Deathwomb Catechesis (2012) is a pure brutality manifest, bordering black and death Metal, strongly inspired by early 1990s Finnish scene. It's bold, heavy and nasty.
Hostilities start with Vehement Decimation, which crushes the listener with an avalanche of decibels. Fast and aggressive, this piece sets the tone for the entire album. The group does not bother with the details and the onslaught continues unabated - and with virtually the same structure - on Malignant Spears. Similarities with Beherit are here totally assumed. I had several times the impression of being immersed in the murky world of Drawing Down the Moon (1993), undoubtedly a major inspiration for Pseudogod. The war continues with Saturnalia (Night of the Return ...) and Azazel, but the tempo slows down (briefly) on The Antichrist Victory. This is a false hope for the weak: Necromancy of the Iron Darkness plunges into hell those who survived until then. Little surprise then with a song with a Spanish title. Encarnación del Mal is probably a nod to the Andalusia scene, where flourish many bestial black metal bands. The forty minutes of this scathing attack end with The Triangular Phosphorescence, which starts with a clumsy pace, before concluding at full speed, like the previous seven pieces.
Deathwomb Catechesis will inevitably delight all ballsy and dirty black metal fans. I hate groups usually plaguing the bestial dark metal register, but loyalty to the work of Beherit (they share the same label since 2010) that make me like Pseudogod immediately. This is a successful tribute that hits hard a nail that needs to be violently crushed.
Originally written for Métal Obscur
Russia's Pseudogod are nothing if not blunt. The style of black/death metal they play is generally not known for being artful, but Pseudogod have absolutely no interest in breaking those rules. Their debut album Deathwomb Catechesis is 40 minutes of brutal and unrelenting metal in the greatest sense of the word. The album is a wrecking ball, with every element and second of the music dedicated to pulverizing the listener in a dozen different ways.
Incredibly thick, low-end guitars pummel you with their weight, and varied and energetic drumming engage with them, both providing a driving force behind the music as well as their own aural pleasure. Low, growled vocals in the death metal tradition's purest form thunder their way over the cacophony with satisfying depth. Pseudogod may not show much subtlety on Deathwomb, but they know how to use these components towards a greater whole. They know the trick that separates the Archgoats from the Black Witcheries in the genre: those shifts in riffing and slow, doom laden moments that add the variety the various tracks need. Exempli gratia: The guitars diverge in "Saturnalia (The Night of the Return)", with one speeding along in tremolo picked fury as the other plays sinister chords from the right speaker, before slowing for a crushing bridge, and then kicking into full gear again. Pseudogod manage to take the unrelenting force of their music and spice it up enough to keep the listener engaged.
Ultimately though, there's more to listen to than talk about here. Pseudogod's music doesn't have the ultimate complexity of Goatpenis or the deceptively simple layers of Revenge or Conqueror that add up to a greater whole. They're here to riff you into oblivion, and the album easily warrants a hear rather than a read. It certainly deserves a recommendation, despite its not any new ground. It breaks faces though, and with music like this, who needs new ground anyway?
A whirlwind of bloody debris and noxious sulfur, Deathwomb Catechesis is nothing if not sonically pulverizing. These Russians have been building a head full of steam over the last few years with their various splits and demos, and the bands long awaited full-length debut had a lot of hype behind it. Hype that I am not sure Deathwomb Catechesis completely meets, although the final product is perfectly competent, listenable and horrifyingly brutal... not any easy triumvirate to maintain over the course of an entire album. Yet Pseudogod accomplish it beautifully on Deathwomb Catechesis by never forgetting their final goal: collecting enough skull-fracturing riffs to de-brain anyone who listens to it.
While the bands previous material hinted towards a very Teitanblood-like direction for Pseudogod, Deathwomb Catechesis bucks the trend so to speak. Sure, Teitanblood and bestial black metal acts like Blasphemy and Conqueror remain strong influences in Pseudogod's war machine, but it's impossible to not hear the blistering, sub-human percussive assault Angelcorpse or the slithering, twisted guitar work of Morbid Angel all over this release. This strong Morbid/Angel/corpse vibe threw me off at first to be truthful, and was not entirely what I expected. I figured Deathwomb Catechesis would be the next Seven Chalices; twisted, discordant, inhumanly chaotic if not always tight and uniform. What we got instead was a well controlled, tight, fast genocide machine, spewing lots of black smoke but moving with an easy purpose across the torched landscape. Which at first felt largely unsatisfying, since desired revolution ended up being replaced with regression and a stale air of "been there, heard this."
But Deathwomb Catechesis is the kind of album that can beat down even the thickest of inner walls and reach the gooey, Metal loving insides of any increasingly cynical fan. It's... just got riffs. Lots of them, and most of them are fucking intense. "Malignant Spears" rips off a half dozen blistering Trey Azagthoth-style riffs in mere minutes, only slowing down slightly to bang heads and break spines before the unholy storm of guitar madness breaches again into the mortal world, swirling with souls. "Azazel" offers some slight variation in the form of some demented choral vocal arrangements, but it still feels like a long lost Order From Chaos track returned to the inglorious light of the Sun: blackened, hell-bent on speed and relentless in it's hunt for the holy flesh of Angels. Deathwomb Catechesis is not the ritualistic enchantment I expected, but rather the full on invasion of Hell on Earth.
Deathwomb Catechesis is not the genre-defining masterpiece I wanted, and I admit it still bothers me: for all of its strengths, the album remains largely cut and dry, with each track providing similar charms and the inescapable sense of déjà vu which dominates it's thick atmosphere. It's hard to argue with the final product though. Deathwomb Catechesis is truly an album which fits the "poser-disposer" category... yet thankfully avoids the "idiotic, bland genre worship" category.
originally posted at http://curseofthegreatwhiteelephant.blogspot.com/
I've been hearing about Pseudogod for a few years now, so I've no doubt that Deathwomb Catechesis, besides possessing what might be the most memorable album title of the year, is a highly anticipated full-length studio debut for the Russians extremists, with a clear cross cultural appeal to the fans of both old school death and primal black metal aesthetics. They've a sound that's not all that simple to pin down: perhaps a few drops of blood from hybrid forebears like Blasphemy, Angelcorpse, Proclamation or Revenge, awning gutturals that occasionally remind one of Incantation, and a bit of that belligerent, percussion driven riffing that Quorthon wove into the late 80s Bathory records like Under the Sign of the Black Mark or Blood Fire Death. In general though, the Russians do an excellent job of blending all these ingredients together into a savage and forceful experience that, while not exactly perfect, is like to appeal to just about anyone wearing a denim or leather jacket adorned with any semblance of inverted cross.
Deathwomb Catechesis represents pure, unadulterated hostility carried out in simple, barbaric riff patterns that flex between bursts of accelerated violence and slower, driving walls of chords. The drums in tracks like "Vehement Domination" or "Azazel" are very often more busy than the actual guitar progressions, so you can tell they were really reaching back for that nostalgia of the formative black metal years, but still willing to strong arm the audience with copious double bass thunder and effortless blasting. Combined with the ominous guttural vocals though, Pseudogod feels incredibly tight and consistent. I can't vouch for a lot of the individual riffs here, they all function on familiar structures that we've heard in countless works of black, death, or even grind, but each piece of the puzzle is combined into such a Hellish whole that Deathwomb Catechesis develops a personality despite its lack of particular nuance or complexity in the guitars.
There are points on the album, like the breakdown in "Necromancy of the Iron Darkness" in which they come across like this primordial, blackened alternate to late 80s Bolt Thrower, crushing the shit out of the listener like a tank draped in the skeletons and entrails of the damned; or the intro to "Encarnación Del Mal" which simply explodes from its foundation chords and then later contracts with a brutal, hammering confidence as the drums shift tempos below the verse. The guitars, vocals and drums alone create enough of this rank, airy atmosphere that added embellishments are hardly necessary, you really feel like you're being dragged through the vaulted caverns of some unpleasant afterlife to be tortured at the whim of not fiendish, despotic diabolists, but some manner of infernal neanderthals that will club your flesh against the subterranean walls until your bones are shattered into powder. While I wouldn't have minded some more intricate, haunting guitar patterns woven into such troglodyte rituals, Deathwomb Catechesis as it stands is still a horrifying experience not to be missed. Pure hate.