Ritual Theophagy is the second album by Blasphemer, a death metal band from Muggiò in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. It follows by eight years the band’s first album, On the Inexistence of God, and a 2010 EP named Devouring Deception that we praised in a review (here). Ritual Theophagy is already available through the band and Comatose Music, but we’re now bringing you a full public stream of the album for the first time.
Blasphemer throw 11 songs at you in the space of about 28 minutes, with only one of the songs reaching the three-minute mark. And from that, even if you’re unfamiliar with Blasphemer‘s take-no-prisoners approach to death metal, you might deduce that Blasphemer traffic in speed… and you would be right.
Ritual Theophagy is a full-bore blaze from the beginning right up to the final track (which takes a different turn). It is utterly ferocious, unrelentingly savage, mercilessly brutal. The overarching aura of the songs is black and bitter — the disgust for Christianity signified by the title of the album and the song titles (and the samples sprinkled throughout the album) comes through loud and clear in the violent fury of the music.
But while there’s plenty of near-atonal hammering in the songs, along with a broad array of barbaric vocals (from carnivorous roars to throat-shredding shrieks), this definitely isn’t knuckle-dragging, caveman brutality. To the contrary, Blasphemer churn out an eye-popping, jaw-dropping exhibition of technical fireworks. This bestial engine rockets ahead in the red zone, all cylinders firing in a super-heated frenzy — but the music is also machine-precise and tight despite the torrential pace.
The drumming is off the hook in its speed and the militaristic power of its assault. The bass slugs like a prize-fighter amped to the gills on accelerants, And the guitarists deliver skittering, insectile arpeggios and jabbing riffs that veer, dart, and dive like a pack of hellish hummingbirds. But of course, hummingbirds aren’t known for their bloodthirsty savagery or flesh-ripping ferocity, but Blasphemer certainly are.
Except for the brief, scattered samples, the album leaves you little room to breathe until the final track, which is the title song. It’s comparatively slow, dismal, and freighted with agony and anguish. But even that song is over almost before you know it.
In retrospect, Blasphemer made astute choices in keeping these songs as concise as they are, and in keeping the entire album length compact. As a result of those choices, rather than exhaust the listener with non-stop explosiveness and over-the-top technical acrobatics, Ritual Theophagy leaves you energized… and maybe hungry for more rather than completely sated. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to take this wild thrill ride again.
You can enjoy the full stream of Ritual Theophagy through the YouTube player below, preceded by an index of the songs. To order the album, check the following links:
Blasphemer on Facebook:
1. Suicide for Satan
2. You Are Nothing 02:28
3. Jesus Rapes 05:07
4. Worship In The Void 07:22
5. Anthichristian Extremism 10:02
6. Annihilated Divinity 12:45
7. Obscuring The Holy Light 15:06
8. Crucifix Of Shit (Stench Of Prophet) 18:12
9. Fetishistic Idolatry Of The Cross 20:06
10. I Deny 22:39
11. Ritual Theophagy 25:23