In the late 90’s the Death Metal torch was mainly carried by bands from USA. The final fortress of brutality was held up by the likes of Cannibal Corpse, Nile and Morbid Angel. While more or less everybody else faltered, this group of excellent people delivered some of their best records (“Bloodthirst,” “Amongst the Catacombs of Neprhen-Ka,” “Formulas Fatal to the Flesh,” for example) and did their very best to keep the music alive on their behalf. One of the very best in those days was Angelcorpse. A classic of a band who never delivered a weak album. Even if I was slightly disappointed with “Of Lucifer and Lightning” (2007) at first, I learned to appreciate the somewhat different approach of their last album later on greatly.
If anything, Angelcorpse were always an unstable unit. To this day, they have disbanded three times already and are at the moment non-existent again. Formed around the nucleus of Pete Helmkamp (Abhomine, ex-Revenge), Gene Palubicki (also Blasphemic Cruelty) and a drummer, Angelcorpse lived a turbulent career, but their music never suffered due to the clashes. When Angelcorpse disbanded after the before mentioned “Of Lucifer and Lightning” in 2009, Gene Palubicki formed Perdition Temple. A unit that has carried on the anti-christian rampage of Angelcorpse to this day.
The first Perdition Temple album “Edict of the Antichrist Elect” (2010) was originally written for Angelcorpse, so Perdition Temple was never going to be too far from the band preceding it. “Edict…“ was a worthy Death Metal record, but it did not quite reach the glories of Angelcorpse. Something was missing. Whereas the sophomore album “The Tempter’s Victorious“ (2015) was a disappointment, my personal hopes for “Sacraments of Descension,” the third release from Perdition Temple, were not too high, to be honest.
Yet, in the life of a music fan, being proved wrong is a great thing, and Perdition Temple did just that with the new one. “Sacraments of Descension” has everything “The Tempter’s Victorious” seemed to lack. Sharp musicianship, sounds that excel the earlier works, but most importantly well written riffs and more changes in tempo. Actually, “Sacraments of Descension” comes across as the most straight to the point record they have made so far. Everything here serves a purpose and in the thirty minute duration of the album, all the extra fat has been trimmed away. There’s only the essentials left and that suits me well.
Musically, “Eternal Mountain,” “Devil’s Countess” and “Red Reaping” are the highlights. Then again, there is not too much of an experimental approach in Perdition Temple, so all the tunes have an equal manner to them. It’s up to the listener to choose if this is a fault or a strength. Each of the tracks display the same kind of tempos and battery. This is sharp, hostile and raw Death Metal. Well performed and delivered with discipline and surgical precision. Yet, remembering single songs from the album can seem somewhat hard. They tend to rather blend together as one long beating. If I’d have to compare “Sacraments of Descension” to something, it would be the songs of Morbid Angel’s “Domination“ with the more brutal sounds of “Covenant,” without “God of Emptiness,” or “Angel of Disease” to stand out and break the pattern. And yeah, there’s a lot of Angelcorpse in it as well. Naturally.
Even if Perdition Temple do not reach the standards set by the ghost of their past this time, they sure have delivered their best and most focused work to date. It is an assault to the ears, with a totalitarian anti-christian agenda, and enough tempo changes to keep the interest up and more than plenty of sturdy blast beats to please any Extreme Metal devotee in this Corona infested world of ours. I know, it is a bit unfair and must be surely boring to boot to hear the constant comparison to past works here, but with the music being so close to the legendary band and having the personnel history they have, Perdition Temple may never escape it. Yet, with “Sacraments of Descension” they have reassured me of their potential to overcome, and maybe one day Angelcorpse will be compared to Perdition Temple instead.
Rating – 4/5