Released: 2008, Housecore Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
There was a period in the mid-1990s where Phil Anselmo was campaigning for Mayor of the Metal Underground. While Pantera was heading towards its untimely demise, Anselmo was involved in numerous projects intended to show his less commercial side. To avoid any contractual conflicts with Pantera’s record label, Anselmo adopted the alias of “Anton Crowley” for his extracurricular activities, primarily in a support role playing guitar in limited release black metal bands. Stints with Necrophagia, Enoch, Viking Crown, Eibon, and Christ Inversion followed, each with varying degrees of reception and success.
Christ Inversion was one of Anselmo’s briefer collaborations, resulting in only 2 demos before packing it in – 1994’s OBEY THE WILL OF HELL and 1995’s 13th CENTURY LUCIFERIAN RITES. It is the band’s first demo that has been repackaged and officially released through Anselmo’s own Housecore Records, simply titled CHRIST INVERSION. For the release, the band was rounded out by Graveyard Rodeo alumni Wayne Fabra on vocals, Ross Karpelman on keyboards, Jay Gracianette on bass, and Gary Herbert on drums. At first glance, it would be easy to dismiss CHRIST INVERSION as a sloppy, ego driven black metal side-project, but under the surface lies much, much more.
For its re-release, there hasn’t been much (if anything) done in the way of touch ups to the production, leaving the sound quality raw and immediate. Stylistically, the band could be described as a cross between early-Mayhem and Eyehategod, straddling the line of grinding sludge and early black metal. The disc contains 8 Hell-spawned anthems of evil that are simultaneously catchy and fierce. “Crucifucking the Possessed” opens the gates with a warped recording of “let Jesus fuck you” before ceding to the grinding opus “Prudent to the Thrones of God.” Most of the tracks feature snippets of horror films as an introduction to the actual songs, creating a Grindhouse vibe to the affair. “Lucifer Rise” features a simple, yet unsettling, keyboard intro that shifts gears towards the slow and churning. “Enochian Tongues” is a standout on the disc, featuring a sound clip from the “The Exorcist” and a swinging riff that managed to stick in my head for a few days. “Chimes of Deafening Misery” has a doom feel to it, while “Inflamed with Prayer” is a speed driven number. “Godfall” closes the disc and is another standout cut. Featuring slow and trippy dirge like vocals that succumb to a downward spiral of madness, “Godfall” sums up the mission of CHRIST INVERSION both in substance and title.
The presentation of CHRIST INVERSION belies a collection of calculated, well written songs that push all of the right buttons to create an atmosphere of horror. The disc is purposely raw to enhance that atmosphere, sounding as if the tunes were recorded in an aluminum shed spattered with human blood. If you’re a fan of bands like Necrophagia, Darkthrone, or the aforementioned Mayhem and Eyehategod you’ll find plenty to like about CHRIST INVERSION. If you’re on the fence and are willing to give CHRIST INVERSION a few spins, you just may find yourself hooked.