The Swedish label Blood Harvest Records plans to release a series of 7″ vinyl EPs between now and year-end. I’ve received advance digital versions of five of them and thought I’d put down a few words about all five, divided into two posts. In this one the subjects are the two EPs that the label announced yesterday it had just received from the pressing plant. The other three are apparently being manufactured now, and I’ll cover those in Part 2 tomorrow.
Ceremonial are a Chilean band with two previous demos to their credit. Their Blood Harvest release is a four-song offering entitled Ars Magicka. The music is a blazing blitzkrieg of black thrash, a rapacious attack of rapid-fire riffs, booming bass, and acrobatic drumwork, with utterly venomous, echoing vocals.
The songs are electrifying, and part of what makes them so good is the band’s ability to turn on a dime, varying the rhythms and pacing in a flash without ever losing the music’s unstoppable forward momentum. And when they’ve got the pedal pushed all the way to the floor, they can really fly. I thoroughly enjoyed Ars Magicka. Have a listen below.
We’ve written about San Diego’s Ghoulgotha three times in the past, most recently in connection with their 7″ split release with Italy’s Into Darkness. I first discovered them back in 2012 after learning that they had been formed by by vocalist/guitarist W. Sarantopoulos, a/k/a “Elektrokutioner” (Decrepitaph, Father Befouled, Encoffination, Wooden Stake, Festered, Scaremaker) after he relocated to southern California.
The Blood Harvest vinyl release for Ghoulgotha is entitled Prophetic Oration of Self and consists of the title track and a second song named “Disintegration Paradox”. This is ridiculously rancid, positively putrid, completely crushing death/doom of the ancient school. When Ghoulgotha are running hot and fast, you can easily imagine a horde of ghouls armed with bone saws coming for your ribs. And when they collapse into a staggering crawl, the music oozes putrescent sickness (and the crush factor gets dialed up to 11).
The largely atonal and brutally down-tuned riffs vibrate with radioactive levels of distortion, and the brute-force rhythm section is relentlessly pounding. The vocals are… just plain horrifying. And man, when they move into chug mode in “Disintegration Paradox”, be careful or your head might come off. Excellent.