Ohio’s Prosanctus Inferi will release Hypnotic Blood Art, their first album in seven years, on August 15th via Nuclear War Now! Productions. Founder and only constant member Jake Kohn (vocals, guitars) is joined on the record by drummer Jeremy Spears (who proves to be as hellishly good as Kohn himself is). According to the advance press, “Kohn sheds some of the technicality and velocity of his prior performances in favor of a heavier sound, reflecting, in many ways, a return to the band’s foundations”.
Moreover, lyrically and conceptually, Kohn also “harkens back to the band’s earlier days, with a focus on medieval and renaissance conceptions of Hell and damnation — topics that figured prominently on the demo recordings.”
The album’s first advance track, “Dark Scarp of Hell“, made a striking impression, something like a burning spike hurled into the head. And now we’re presenting the new album’s second single, “Hypnotic Blood Art“, which is no less compelling.
The word “visceral” comes to mind in listening to the album’s title track. The dictionary tells us that the word, which is rooted in the Latin term viscera (referring to the internal organs of the body) describes something that deals with crude and elemental emotions — deep-seated feelings and reactions rather than reason or thought. And “Hypnotic Blood Art” does provoke a visceral reaction.
There is a primitive and primal power in the rapidly clattering drums and the vicious seething riffage, whose fuzzy and frenetic tone seems cold and cruel. As the drums segue into a gallop the guitar flickers even more feverishly, in a semblance of crazed ecstasy, and the ferocious howling vocals themselves seem to simultaneously capture those sensations of cruelty and blood-lusting mayhem.
The maniacal feeling of the music persists as the fretwork continues to mutate in electrifying fashion, to swarm and swirl, to spiral upward and to sink into sounds of cold carnivorous feeding. Other strange and unnerving sounds flare and crash into this boiling cauldron of menace and mania, and the music ends in a skin-chilling wail.
It’s a macabre and murderous experience, to be sure, and yet it also proves to be perversely entrancing as well as hellishly depraved.
When you take a look at Bandcamp player below, what you’ll see first is that previously released track — which you should definitely also listen to — but you can also scroll down and find today’s premiere. As for “Dark Scarp of Hell“, there’s no way any normal person could remain pensive and motionless listening to it.
With that deep, fuzzed-out tone, and backed by a skull-cracking drum beat, the riffing is insidiously infectious. It seems to writhe like a giant serpent and to pulse like an imperial fanfare, or a black fever in the blood. Kohn‘s voice cuts through that murky and sinister tone with shattering, throat-cutting savagery, and he also discharges bursts of demented riff frenzy over eruptions of thunderous double-bass tumult. But the band also pull the song into a pit of oppressive and preternatural gloom before a final surge of musical barbarism.
To repeat, Nuclear War Now! will release Hypnotic Blood Art on August 15th, and it’s available for pre-order now.