Italian Extreme Metal stalwarts Blasphemer return with their latest offering “The Sixth Hour” and it’s a big step forward from their two previous albums, with a fresh sound and a fresh line-up of; Clod ‘The Ripper’ De Rosa on bass and vocals, Nicolò Brambilla on guitars and Davide Cazziol on drums, joining founder Simone Brigo. With this release the band have adopted a straightforward, dark and intense Death Metal approach which heavily integrates the evocative and aesthetic qualities of Black Metal as opposed to the Brutal Technical Death leanings of, 2008’s debut “On the Inexistence of God” and 2016’s “Ritual Theophagy“, and as much as I loved those two face searing delights this is a much more approachable and accessible sound but fear not, it still has the brutal capacity to sear the flesh from your face, just a little more gracefully.
From the opener “Let Him Be Crucified” to the closer “De Profundis” you can expect an intense delivery of blackened riffs that often have haunting hypnotic elements, reminding me just a touch, at times, of early Morbid Angel, alongside a brutally harsh vocal delivery that cuts a swathe through the guitar work, well balanced with melodic elements and slightly thrashy leadwork. The delivery is pretty much unrelenting in its intensity but the occasional melodic swathe pops up, as on the close of “The Robe Of Mockery” allowing you to reflect on the aural carnage which has just graced your welcoming ears or on its successor “I.N.R.I.” where the sound opens up nicely with a melodic yet rapid build that doesn’t waste time delivering that ever present brutality.
Midway you also get a mid-point acoustic interlude, “Blessed Are The Wombs That Never Bore” which gives a little breathing space before the onslaught returns, seemingly even more intense and unrelenting with the next track, “Lord Of Lies“, and as the track title suggests, as with previous offerings, the lyrical themes take an intelligent and scathing look at religious absurdities.
My favourite track, to be honest, is whatever is currently playing, “The Sixth Hour” is a consistent offering end to end, just press play and enjoy is the best option here. This one is out now via Candlelight Records and should be of great interest to fans of Deeds of Flesh, Marduk and Beheaded.
Rating 4.5 /5