I know exactly where I was (Anchorage, Alaska) almost two years ago when I heard the first track off Pile Of Priests’ debut album, Void To Enlightenment. I also know exactly how cold it was outside (1°F). I know these things because I pasted the data from my phone at the top of the post where I wrote about that song — a track that made me much warmer, and left my jaw hanging loose with some drool wetting my chin.
That track wasn’t the only jaw-dropper on Void To Enlightenment. And thankfully, that album also isn’t the last of the devil’s work that this Denver-based progressive death metal band have seen fit to do. They’re at work on a new EP, but in the meantime they’re releasing a new single that we’re premiering today through a lyric video, the title of which is “Redemptionem Per Cruciatu“.
For those whose Latin is a little rusty, the song title means “Redemption Through Torture“, and the band tell us this about its subject matter:
“The song is about the centuries of child molestation within the Catholic Church, and in particular one Wisconsin priest who sexually molested over 200 deaf children between 1950 and 1974. He was never punished by the Vatican hierarchy or by the criminal justice system of the United States.
“The song musically starts out with an eerie bass intro to portray the sadness and trauma of all the affected victims. It then progresses into a fast-paced melodic ride of pure anger that is sure to rile up the listener.”
Simply thinking about the horrible abuses addressed by the song (about which you can read more here if you have a strong stomach) is enough to rile up most people, but it’s true that the music would still do that even if the lyrics themselves weren’t also venting a fury of condemnation and rage.
The song is a fascinating feast of cold, ravenous hostility mixed with grim, sorrowing melodic elements and bursts of thoroughly head-spinning instrumental pyrotechnics. Tempo changes abound, energy levels surge and ebb, the vocals are monstrously good, and the solo that caps the song is white hot. It will also rattle the teeth in your head.
I mentioned that the band are at work on a new EP. Its title is Tenebrous Labyrinth and it includes three original songs and three cover tracks. Guitarist/vocalist Evan Salvador describes it as “the pinnacle of our sound thus far” — “fast, evil, melodic and incorporates other styles of metal besides death metal”. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for it.