On the surface (and it’s the kind of surface you don’t want to touch without wearing surgical-grade antiseptic gloves), the South Texas black metal band Venereal Baptism is naaaasty. From their band name to the outrageous song titles on their new album Repugnant Coronation of the Beast, they just blare filth and depravity (and a complete disregard for modern mores and tender feelings) straight out of a bullhorn. It’s all so over the top in its offensiveness that it might even make you dubious about listening.
However, if you choose not to subject yourself to the full album riot that we’re premiering today on the eve of the record’s release by Osmose Productions, you’ll be missing a balls-to-the-wall thrill-ride, and one that proves to be fiendishly addictive.
It is completely true that Venereal Baptism‘s main duo of Adversor (rhythm guitars and production) and Fermentor (lead guitars and vocals) demonstrate undiluted, unwavering dedication to chaos and savagery, lust and disgust, blasphemy and barbarism. It is also true that, in harness with the same rhythm section that took part in the orgy of their 2017 debut album, they’re damned good at getting a listener’s motor running fast and hot.
These 10 songs are built around deep, corrosive, chainsaw-toned riffing that sounds massive and hits like hurricane-strength blasts of fire and fury, assaulting the ears with immense gales of down-tuned abrasion that have subtle but insidious rhythms and equally subtle shifts in tone that give the songs individual character despite the general absence of blatant melodic hooks. The riffs combine sensations of imperious and implacable savagery along with heavy doses of circle-saw scything and movements of grim, heaving menace.
The drumming is vital to this kind of music, and here it provides an irresistible linkage to the reptile brain, with drum beats that gallop, scamper, and blast, and extravagant fills that tumble, somersault, and boom. The bass presence, along with the depth of the riffing, gives the music the heft and brutality of death metal, and there are aspects of death metal in the hateful vocal vituperations as well. Fermentor’s roaring and howling, by the way is utterly vicious, venomous, and bestial.
These tracks are also peppered with freakish, fret-burning, channel-shifting solos that leap from these sonic maelstroms like wild, dive-bombing demonic sprites (though some also miserably wail like poltergeists). You figure out pretty soon that those solos are going to become a constant companion, but even after that realization it’s still a genuine thrill every time they erupt.
Some of the tracks explode like shrieking war-zones of mayhem and murder (e.g., “Born of Lascivious Degradation”), and you just have to hang on for dear life. But a lot of these songs prove to be downright infectious, even though the sulphurous firestorm of album opener “To Castrate Angelic Grace” might not prepare you for that as you begin running the gauntlet of this record. “Venereal Fucking Whore” is a prime example, as is “Repugnant Coronation of the Beast”, which is one of the more tempo-dynamic (and more brutishly bludgeoning) songs on the album.
Tempo dynamism also marks “Blasphemous Sarin Excretions”, which further stands out due to the air of infernal grandeur, both grim and fiery, that emanates from the music. And along with the heaviness and roaring lethality of death metal, the punk sensibilities of grindcore and hardcore also find a place (especially in “Unfuckable Pacifist Gutterslut”). Album closer “Aborted At the Foulest Pit of Hell”, a largely lurching abomination, also takes us into a truly foul and suffocating realm of doom and degradation, as well as feeding us through a brutal meat-grinder and treating the listener to a few final explosions of lunatic soloing, laced with a bit of melodic exoticism.
Hell awaits below, but also a hellishly good time.