Infernal Warriors of Death
America’s Blaspherian finally releases their debut album after numerous demos, splits and EPs. I was initially hesitant to check this record out because of the album artwork – what looks like pink flowers withering in hell when seen from afar, only to be surprised (silly me!) at the concept of the artwork when seen up-close: pink-tinted angels being impaled by the devil’s minions. This could actually turn out good!
Blaspherian plays a brand of dark and heavy death metal, with a sinister atmosphere that constantly looms over the music. While the opening riffs may bring bands such as Bloodbath to mind, do not be fooled into thinking that this is just another band that is popping out of the large number of bands claiming to play old school death metal. The heavily distorted guitars, punishing drum work and the at times undecipherable guttural growls of vocalist Apollyon all mesh together nicely, bringing to listeners their brand of crushing death metal.
The obvious lack of guitar solo is hardly a factor at all, and in fact brings up the intensity of the music as guitarist Wes Infernal focusses on lashing out riff after punishing riff to ensure that the listener hardly has enough space or time to breathe throughout the duration of the record. Even when a guitar solo is included, such as on Lies of the Cross, they are short and even slightly awkward as he attempts to retain the sinister touch in the solo. The trem-picked section on songs such as Exalted in Unspeakable Evil also adds a sense of anxiety to the listener.
The music, while not blazing fast all the time, ensures that not one moment is wasted as each slow down on songs are made up through the inclusion of intense drum fills by Matt Mayhem. The down-tuned guitar and heavily distorted tone sets the mood for the music, especially on the slower parts of the music, reminiscent of bands such as Vasaeleth.
Some sense of sanity is only encountered on the later parts of the album, such as on the title track Infernal Warriors of Death where the riffing sees a return to more conventional old school death metal minus the overly dark overtones, complete with the usual chugging riffs punctuated with pinch harmonics, versus the trem picked riffs on most of the tracks. Blaspherian‘s Infernal Warriors of Death is definitely a good album if you want to check out some evil, sinister death metal.