Released: 2015, Hells Headbangers
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
Nearly seven years after their full-length debut, Florida miscreants Blasphemic Cruelty - featuring ex-Angelcorpse guitarist Gene Palubicki - return with a fiery four-song EP that leaves one wanting more - and hoping that it won't be so long in coming.
Crucible of the Infernum is a raw, calamitous blast of supersonic, misanthropic death metal that recalls Angelcorpse to a certain extent, as well as the more ferocious and less fanciful elements of old-school Morbid Angel and Hate Eternal. Its utterly unrelenting pace is set by Gina Ambrosio, hands down the most feral female drummers I can recall hearing.
Once she launches into the blast beat that drives the furious opener “Imperium of the Lawless One,” it's off to the races. And hats off to her bandmates for being able to keep up.
But Palubicki makes his strafing riffs and caterwauling leads seem almost effortless. Indeed, the surprising complexity of his guitar work only emerges after a few listens, once one has been able to process the blinding speed and buzz-sawing wall of sound to pick out what intricacies lie beneath. He works his guitar into quite a lather here, for sure – handling all the rhythm and leads, and bass as well.
For his part, Blume breathes plenty of fire behind the mic, barking out his hateful lyrics at a mile a minute. His raspy voice and machine-gun cadence is somewhat reminiscent of, and I don't mean this as a slight, late Gwar frontman Dave “Oderus Urungus” Brockie, being both evocative and outrageous – especially during the “I will break your spine” threats in the band's horsewhipping of Sodom's “The Crippler.”
The four tracks here hurtle by in an intense, almost exhausting, 20 minutes. There's no hooky chug or decelerated lead breaks for which to catch one's breath. Everything is full-on from the get-go, with Ambrosio's pace seesawing between double-bass thrum and blast-beat sprint. So perhaps the trio had the will for more material, just not the stamina. But they make the most out of what they have here, and give it all they've got with ruthless aplomb.