Released: 2010, Hells Headbangers
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Profanatica are one of the first, if not the original, American black metal band. Born out of an acrimonious split between then members of Incantation, mainman Paul Ledney didn’t feel that the direction that Incantation was moving wasn’t fully meeting its anti-Christian potential. In the 20 years since its inception, Profanatica have become a sort of international poster child for the low-fi black metal cult scene. Profanatica’s current incarnation features Ledney and long-time on-again/off-again participant John Gelso, and the duo have just released a new full length platter of blasphemous repugnance, titled DISGUSTING BLASPHEMIES AGAINST GOD, or DBAG for short.
Profanatica ain’t pretty. No keyboards, no frilly vocals, no sexual overtones, nuttin’. Profanatica is ugly, disgusting, and raw. DBAG sounds like it was recorded on a 4-track home recorder. The vocals are guttural and sick, the lyrics are perverse, and the instruments sound like Satan on a cocaine binge. You would think that these qualities would be a bad thing, and for most bands it probably would be, but in Profanatica’s case, they’re oddly endearing. DBAG is a reaction to all the so-called black metal pretenders that seem to have lost their way, and it’s a refreshing contrast to all the yucko bands that seem to be more concerned with their wardrobe than their music.
Musically, what you hear is what you get. There are some powerful, primal concepts in songs like “Black Cum,” “Pious Piece of Shit,” and “Extreme Sacrosanct,” but each of the ten tracks tend to blur into each other as the album progresses. But the id level of hostility that the album perpetuates is indeed captivating. True story - after a particularly craptastic day at work, I chose DBAG as the soundtrack for my commute home. The opening, bottom heavy riffs of “Black Cum” immediately grabbed my attention, and being a participant (even a passive one) in such base level aggression was cathartic. My mind flashed back to days spent scouring indie catalogs for the grossest and most evil looking album covers to add to my collection – the more offensive, the better. I’m sure I looked the fool to anyone around me, headbanging relentless in my car in the middle of rush hour gridlock. But that’s the true test of any album…
You’ll dig this or you’ll think it’s shit. Profanatica doesn’t care either way. Horns up to these guys for bucking trends and keeping true black metal alive. DISGUSTING BLASPHEMIES AGAINST GOD is available now through the Hell’s Headbangers label, just in time for Christmas!