I love writing for AMG, but if I have one complaint, it’s that I don’t get to review blackened thrash every week. Fortunately, this is not one of those weeks. It’s no secret I love the style, and the reason is simple. A good blackened thrash album is like coming home to your favorite armchair. You’ve had it for years, the material is soft and has long ago conformed to the exact contours of your buttocks, ensuring maximum comfort when you sit your ass down after a hard day’s work to watch whatever bullshit you can find on Netflix. Yet occasionally, an album will feel more like a chair you’ve owned too long. There’s potato chip crumbles stuck in the crevices. Stuffing is coming out of the edges. The recliner no longer works. It’s still a good reliable chair, but it doesn’t quite warm the heart as much as it once did. This is the feeling I get listening to Teufelssprache, the second album by Satan Worship.
Worship began in 2011 as the side project of “Leatherface,” the vocalist and bassist of Brazilian blackened speed metal act Sodomizer. Sodomizer themselves are the kind of band you find on the internet in the middle of the night and think are cool, but not cool enough to tell your friends about. Worship have both a similar level of quality and (unsurprisingly) a similar sound. One glance at the song titles (“Satanik Werewolves,” “Mass Murder,” “Under the Sign of the Reaper”) and you know you’re in for basic, raw, and punky blackened thrash that doesn’t give a fukk about progressive song structures or deep lyrical themes. Opener “Death Incarnate” shows this outright, bashing down the door like a blackened Motorhead with its rickety drums and handful of primitive speed metal riffs.
Music like this treads a very fine line between being enjoyable and eye-roll-inducing, but fortunately, I find Worship‘s delivery to sound quite charming and genuine. The second track “Under the Sign of the Reaper” is even better than its predecessor with its bits of devilish melody in its verses, even if the song repeats its chorus a tad too often. Sadly this turns out to be a recurring problem, particularly in tracks like “Motherfuckers From The Apokalipse.” In addition to having similar structures, it doesn’t help that many of these songs barrel along at the same rhythms, nor that some have a similar feel to both each other and music that’s come before. Parts of “The Last Day Of Paul John Knowles,” for instance, are so similar to Venom‘s “To Hell and Back” that I wouldn’t be surprised if Cronos’s lawyer ends up giving these gents a stern phone call following this album’s release.
Fortunately, there are still enough decent moments to keep things enjoyable. “La Catedral” is the slowest of the bunch and adds a bit of variety in the album’s second half, with its slow twisted notes soon giving way to a delightful boogie-rock riff that’s fun as hell. A few songs have some nice crunchy rhythmic breaks, while penultimate track “Antichrist” storms forward on blast beats and buzzing tremolos that inject a great dose of aggression late in the runtime. Likewise, while closer “Aokigahra” is again guilty of repeating its chorus (i.e. the track title) too much, it does feature a nice tumbling melody in its midsection that sounds quite cool and different. The production on Teufelssprache is suitably ragged, with bloopy bass, buzzy guitars, and wooden-sounding drums complementing Leatherface’s garbled rasp.
Teufelssprache isn’t the type of album that’s going to be winning any awards, but it also isn’t trying to. This is clearly music written for smokey dive bars and sticky clubs, music to enjoy in the presence of whiskey, leather, and cheap beer. Sure, it has problems and there is certainly better stuff out there, but fans of Abigail, Chapel, or other punky blackened thrash are likely to enjoy nonetheless. In all, Satan Worship have delivered an armchair that’s a little ratty, but depending on who you are, it may still do a decent enough job caressing the ol’ buttocks.