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An Essential Piece of American Black Metal - 90%

BassLord, October 29th, 2007

A lot can be said about Profanatica. The band's outspoken leader, Paul Ledney, proclaimed them to be the most blaspehmous band on the planet, and they were one of the first true American black metal bands. However their original breakup in 1993 preceeded the release of an official full length album, leaving us with no real glimpse into the band other than a handful of demos and EP's. Profanatica became more associated with Paul's band Havohej, which he formed to pay tribute to his past works.

After the bands reformation in 2001, they continued to only release sparse EP's and singles, leaving many to wonder if they would ever release an actual album, which they finally did earlier this year. 2007 saw a renewed interest and vigor within Profanatica, with a new album, the re-release of the Havohej album, and also "The Enemy of Virtue", which contained every one of the band's previous recordings.

While they were always a fairly well known band within black metal circles, it was quite difficult to actually obtain a Profanatica release until very recently. This compilation makes makes the band's entire discograpy available on one disk, and is also a perfect way to introduce yourself to the band.

The albums 23 tracks are presented mostly in chronlogical order, with the exception being the rehearsal of Toten covers, which was one of Paul's previous outfits. Despite the amount af releases present, the band's sound is remarkably consistant. Much deathier than many of their peers, the music sounds like a mix of Morbid Angel, Obituary, Inacantation(Whom Paul helped form), and the darkly melodic tremolo picked riffs of black metal. Ledney's disgusting, coughed screams are also one of the band's trademarks, as is his glued to the riffs drumming.

Th early tracks are indeed raw, with the exception of the occasional keyboard or chant sounding very clear, but the recording quality does increase marginally as the time goes by, and the later songs actually have a very good recording sound. The raw sound does indeed add to the overtly evil feel of the album, and believe me, this stuff is evil. Never known for their poetry, the portions of the lyrics which can be decphered include such gems as "I vomit on god's child", and the lovely "Sodomy shall be brought upon the nun's rotting asshole."

The album also comes with detailed liner notes of the tracklisting, a biography, and plenty of photos and artwork. Overall all I'd say anyone interested in the roots of American black metal, or black metal in general will find this to be a great release.