Israel’s Promiscuity proudly wear their influences like patches on the vest: Right there on the third track of their hellaciously romping EP Basic Instinct is a cover of Celtic Frost’s “Into the Crypts of Rays” from 1984’s Morbid Tales. That album, we know now, was a pivot point in the history of heavy music, along with rough contemporaries such as Bathory’s first full-length and Venom’s Black Metal, and Promiscuity are quite unabashedly happy to plant their flag in the same ground, albeit 30 years later.
Basic Instinct is an unholy stew of punk, speed metal, NWOBHM, and sulfuric acid — the kind of primitive, proto-black-thrash that conjures images of whisky-splashed moshpits in Lucifer’s favorite dive bar. With fairly simple, straight-ahead song structures, Promiscuity rely on the infernal infectiousness of their riffs and an array of screaming, unhinged guitar solos as the main source of their appeal — along with some truly venomous, echo-drenched vocals, the kind you can imagine came from gargling with a cocktail of crushed glass and lye.
On the first two tracks (“Beauty and the Bitch” and “Pedophile”), Promiscuity respectively pay their musical respects to the movie from which the EP takes its name (“You are condemned to pay the price / Your life – for her orgasm”) and climb inside the mind of a child killer (“Every midnight I get out of my hole / To the sound of old, dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll / That’s the perfect time for my perverted hobby / Desecrating infants, turning them unholy”). And the murderous theme continues on the final song, “Maniac’s Blues” (“He was born in Sodom, grew up in Hell / His home was where the demons dwell”).
Of the four songs on the EP, including the Celtic Frost cover, only that last track marks a change of pace. “Maniac’s Blues” begins and ends in a kind of lurching, off-kilter rhythm with some chugging riffs in the mix, and in the middle it slows to a swampy stomp with a bluesy guitar solo in place of those acetylene blasts from the previous tracks. It’s a tantalizing hint that this band may have the capacity to throw in the kind of curveballs that a full-length album would require — just enough to keep listeners sufficiently off-balance that they’ll stick with Promiscuity to the end.
Apart from a taste and a talent for this kind of throw-back metal, Promiscuity also benefit from the presence of Sonne Adam’s drummer Steel behind the kit. Percussive pyrotechnics aren’t required for this kind of music, but he still manages to toss in some well-timed attention-grabbing progressions that spice up the proceedings. (The band’s vocalist/guitarist Butcher also briefly spent time as a bass player with Sonne Adam.)
If you’re a fan of current bands such as Chapel, Gospel of the Horns, or Satan’s Satyrs, or if you just want to channel the spirits of the ones mentioned in the first paragraph of this review, give Basic Instinct a try. It’s a “name your price” download on Bandcamp, and you can stream it below.
Promiscuity are looking for a label to release the EP on CD and vinyl, and I’ll be surprised if they don’t find one, because Basic Instinct is about as much fun as you can have with your pants on.