Blasphemer is a 5-piece band from Milan, Italy. The band came into existence in 1998, but because of years of “drinking and fucking around” (their words), they didn’t buckle down and release a full-length album until 2008’s On the Inexistence of God (which was produced by Stefano Morabito at 16th Cellar Studio, who has done similar work for Hour of Penance and Fleshgod Apocalypse). They’ve also now recently released a 5-song EP on Comatose Music called Devouring Deception that includes a remastered version of a previously released single (“Cloaca of Iniquity”), a cover of a song by Broken Hope (“I Am God”), and three new original songs.
Principally on the evidence of the 2008 LP, Blasphemer seems to get categorized with bands like Severed Savior, Deeds of Flesh, and Defeated Sanity under the banner of Brutal Death Metal. The Marco Hasmann cover art of the EP (which you’ll see after the jump) points in that same direction — a winged monstrosity admiring his handiwork after eviscerating a voluptuously nude angel.
Some brutal-death aficionados might continue to classify the EP under that banner, but we hear something a little different. Yes, the music is like a horde of army ants cascading through your brain with pincers snapping voraciously — but with choreography. The sound as we hear it is a bit closer to Fleshgod Apocalypse than likes of Deeds of Flesh usually deliver, and as most of you long-time readers know, that’s high praise here at NCS. (more after the jump, including a Blasphemer song . . .)
Blasphemer’s music is more about rhythm than melody, and the rhythms are taut and hurtling. Speed is the name of the game. The drums boil a stew of blast-beats and double-kicks, spiced with crashing cymbals, in an overflowing cauldron of heated magma. The guitars worship at the altar of technical death metal in a ritual of darting pulses and dizzying fretwork. The bass rhythms are just as nimble but keep this machine on course with massive slamming grooves.
Unlike slam metal or much of what passes for brutal death, however, Blasphemer doesn’t include breakdowns or slower-paced segments. It’s all acceleration, all the time. Their motto might as well be, “We will rest when we’re dead.”
The vocals are also more varied than the brutal-death norm — possibly because four of the five band members contribute to the vocals, and between them, they’ve got the range of death-metal vocalization pretty well covered. The dominant vocals are deep, bestial howls, but blood-curdling shrieks hit the top end of the scale, and truly scary gurgling growls scrape the low end. Sometimes all the vocalists sing together, and it sounds like the gates of hell have finally been triumphantly flung open.
Lyrically, Blasphemer also departs from the drenched-in-gore motif that characterizes a lot of brutal death. True to their name, the songs are uniformly focused on a vehement denial of the existence of God, of any life after death, of any truth in the teachings of any church, of any hope for salvation beyond what we can deliver with our own hands.
In Devouring Deception, you won’t find the injections of infectious melody that distinguish Fleshgod Apocalypse, or Defeated Sanity’s surprising bursts of jazz-style riffing and drumwork, but if you’re in the mood to be submerged in an adrenaline flood of technically impressive death metal, Blasphemer is worth checking out.
Here’s the one song on the EP that does include melodic guitar leads, and of course it’s that cover of “I Am God”. We’ve found that amping the volume to ear-bleeding levels is the best way to listen.
In addition to the five songs described above, the EP includes a video of performance footage and assorted other images accompanying the song “Kuru” from the previous album.
Devouring Deception can be ordered from Deep Send Records. The previous LP is available on iTunes, Amazon, and elsewhere. For more info about Blasphemer, here are links to their MySpace page and their Facebook page.
As we noted, the EP cover art is by Marco Hasmann, who has also created covers for the two releases by Fleshgod Apocalypse as well as albums by Vomit the Soul, Kadaver, and many others.