Forever the iconoclasts, PROFANATICA are both black metal legends and defiant of such concepts of "legendary." As one of earliest American black metal bands, during the dark 'n' bloody days of the early 1990s, PROFANATICA set out upon a course of utter blasphemy and barbaric primitivism, then retreated into the shadows as a cult icon, only to be resurrected years later once the black metal scene had finally caught up with their invention/degradation. When they returned, with Profanatitas de Domonatia in 2007, the signature PROFANATICA sound was firmly in place, and yet masters Paul Ledney and John Gelso continued to challenge themselves and push this pulsing primitivism to uncharted waters of sin 'n' sickness. Three years later, Disgusting Blasphemies Against God pushed the envelope even further, and yet three more years again, 2013's Thy Kingdom Cum climaxed all over that envelope. Now, with The Curling Flame of Blasphemy, PROFANATICA have gone back to the beginning while re-imagining their signature sound in the subtlest and yet somehow-most-powerful way.
Arguably the band's crudest and most primitive full-length thus far, The Curling Flame of Blasphemy bulldozes into being with a crushing, blown-out explosion of sound, setting out PROFANATICA's stall and drawing a very firm line in the sand: you either submit to its gloriously hypnotic blasphemy or get trampled under cloven, obsidian hoof. Paul Ledney's idiosyncratic approach to rudimentary/elevated-mind drumming forms the backbone by which John Gelso sends out wave upon wave of tense, vertigo-inducing riff, layering the bulldoze with chilling counterpoint that sends the vertigo into overdrive and creates a perverse disconnect from the sonic wreckage going on all around them. All the while, Ledney's charred-black vomits cut through the crush to spill forth verbal desecration, profaning the pure and defiling dog's creation as only he can. Together, both masterminds behind PROFANATICA underline an already incontrovertible fact: despite a decade or two of the black metal scene pilfering from them, no one sounds like PROFANATICA. Thus, The Curling Flame of Blasphemy never dies, never relents - from a flicker into an inferno - and both its heat and light shall serve as a guide for future generations of devotees/descecrators.
» Rites of thy degringolade (CA) (Black Metal / Death Metal)
The first incarnation of Rites of Thy Degringolade, which spanned six years between the releases of its self-titled demo in 1999 and its third album in 2005, was marked by a level of controlled chaos and a percussion-centric, unique hybrid of black and death metal that truly carved its own niche in the genre, but it was then laid to rest prematurely. Following a ten-year hiatus, founding member, Paulus Kressman, resurrected the band in 2015 with the intent to play some live performances and possibly even write new material. Fortunately, this second goal has now come to fruition with the recording of “The Universe in Three Parts,” a one-song demo which verifies that the band has lost nothing following its period of dormancy. Originally self-produced and made available at its live performances in late 2016, Nuclear War Now! is pleased to make this cassette more widely available to the general public with its own version of this release. At least as important as this demo’s confirmation of the band’s sustained level of songwriting and musicianship is its foreshadowing of even more to come. In fact, another version of “The Universe in Three Parts” is slated to be included on the upcoming, fourth Rites of Thy Degringolade album, which is currently in the process of being recorded. As such, this demo bridges the gap between Rites of Thy Degringolade’s past and future and builds anticipation for what the latter will bring.
» Auroch (CA) (Death Metal)
Vancouver, BC based death metal band AUROCH have slowly been gaining recognition as one of Canada’s most active death metal bands since their release of their “Taman Shud” LP from 2014. Since then the death metal power-trio, comprised of vocalist/guitarist Sebastian Montesi (who is the bassist/vocalist of MITOCHONDRION), vocalist/bassist Shawn Haché (who is the vocalist/guitarist of MITOCHONDRION) and drummer Zack Chandler, have been active on the live circuit consistently (through various shows, tours and festivals in the US and Canada, including a recent US tour and an appearance at this year’s Maryland Deathfest, and a European tour under their belt likewise with appearances at such festivals as Killtown and Incubate), had their debut album “From Forgotten Worlds” re-issued earlier this year via 20 Buck Spin and most-recently had their split/collab 7”EP with their co-conspirator sister band MITOCHONDRION come out via Dark Descent.
Now the enveloping shadow of dark death metal chaos looms with AUROCH’s new album “Mute Books” which will reveal itself as the band’s darkest, most brutal, complex, and musically virulent release to date, carrying the innovative Canadian death metal tradition laid down by the likes of Gorguts, Cryptopsy (nothing past “None So Vile”!), Kataklysm (nothing past “Temple Of Knowledge” of course!), and more recently through the likes of MITOCHONDRION and CHTHE’ILIST respectively.
With the songwriting on “Mute Books” reaching a new plateau in technicality and over-the-top dynamics along with a new achievement in production and sound courtesy of producer/engineer Arthur Rizk (PRURIENT, PISSGRAVE, Inquisition, Black Twilight Circle, Power Trip), AUROCH have cast their most ferocious undertaking yet; one of the darkest, most violent, whirlwind-like bizarre monuments of alchemic death metal of the year.