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A Landscape of Fire - 84%

HeySharpshooter, May 6th, 2012

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.

Rating: 8/10

originally posted at http://curseofthegreatwhiteelephant.blogspot.com/