Blasphamagoatachrist – Bastardizing the Purity Review

It’s funny how time works. One day you’re 16 and listening to HIM’s Razorblade Romance, the next you’re in your 30s and reviewing a band called Blasphamagoatachrist. I suspect my own journey into the Extreme was similar to many others. From the day distorted guitars first graced my ears, I felt a gentle pull towards what I now know of as the Black Hole of Extremity, that invisible eternal force that constantly beckons us to seek out MORE. More blast beats. More pummeling riffs. More sheer musical brutality, with goats and urban camo artwork and $80 limited edition vinyl sets and every goddamn ‘C’ replaced with a fukkin ‘K’! Half the goddamn time I can’t even fawn over this shit with a critical eye, but when the craving comes that doesn’t even matter, because I don’t just want it, I FUKKIN NEED IT. Fortunately Blasphamagoatachrist is here to satiate me, along with anyone else who has a stomach for bestial blackened death metal. Strap in motherfukkers!!

Unlike the many young bands out there currently playing this style, Blasphamagoatachrist actually have some clout to their name. Literally. The band is comprised of Blasphemy vocalist Gerry Joseph Buhl,1 both the bassist and guitarist of Goatpenis,2 and the drummer of cult Canadian war metal act Antichrist.3 The group’s 2018 Black Metal Warfare demo showcased a strong melodic inclination similar to Goatpenis’ latest album, but this Bastardizing the Purity debut actually seems to take more inspiration from Blasphemy’s 1990 classic Fallen Angel of Doom than anything else. As such melody takes a backseat to battering riffs, while Buhl leads the charge with his monstrous and guttural roar that’s sure to please fans of this style.

There’s plenty of barbaric blasting here, but what really sets Purity apart is the same thing that set Angel apart all those years ago. That is, the group aren’t afraid to slow down and write songs that can actually be considered dynamic (for the style, anyway). After the obligatory intro track of whooshing ambiance and machine gun fire, the title track shows this right from the start, with its blasting onslaught wedged between a steady mid-paced riff and a marching drumbeat. “Black Nuclear Shadows” is even better with the way it rides a great crunchy stomp for much of its runtime, while closer “Evil Revelation” recalls Archgoat with its surging chords and measured drumming. It helps that the band often manage to find just the right balance between discernible riffs and sheer force. “Abysmal Commands,” for instance, has a violent main riff that wails like an alarm, while “Fire Demons of Blokula” breaks from its barrage to showcase an immense and writhing tremolo line that serves as one of the most melodic (and memorable) moments on the album.

In fact, I was initially a little disappointed there weren’t more tracks here like “Demons.”4 Generally, most of these songs are comprised of short riffs that prefer to batter and bruise rather than stand out from the pack. It also doesn’t help that some cuts feel a bit repetitive. Fortunately, the band overcome these pitfalls by evenly spreading out their best ideas and keeping things short and sweet, with most of these songs clocking in around three minutes. In fact, Purity as a whole is a quick listen, with a runtime just under 29 minutes. As such I don’t know if two interludes and an intro track were really necessary, but nonetheless the slightly wonky pacing that results actually adds a bit of charm by making this feel less like a modern album and more like a cult gem that was thrown together 20 years ago. The production perfectly exudes this vibe as well, with roaring guitars coupled with screeching leads and a thunky snare, all put together in a way that feels powerful yet unpolished.

I was initially disappointed that Purity wasn’t Goatpenis 2.0, but with repeat listens I realized that it was never supposed to be. Purity is something special, a record that manages to be savage enough to scratch the “war metal” itch while still being memorable and enjoyable from front to back. It’s clear these gents are veterans of the blackened death metal scene and I can only hope they produce more material under this banner in the future. It goes without saying that Blasphamagoatachrist aren’t for everyone, but for those who enjoy this style, Bastardizing the Purity is practically essential listening.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Nuclear War Now! Productions | Bandcamp
Releases Worldwide: April 25th, 2020

Show 4 footnotes

  1. Or “Nocturnal Grave Desecrator and Black Winds,” as he’s known.
  2. Who here go by “Sabbaoth of the Blood Moon Powerlifting Legion” and “Tyrant Virrugus of the Arcane Rites of Blood Lust,” respectively.
  3. “Incinerator of Lacerated Angels and Coffin Destruction” here.
  4. It didn’t help that the song is actually a re-recording from the demo.
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