Blasphemous Prophecies

rating icon 8.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. We Serve Under No God
02. Blasphemous Prophecies
03. Countess of Blood
04. Invocation of the Ancients
05. The Trial and Prosecution of the Scorned Prophet
06. Pazuzu Incarnate
07. Born of a Jackal
08. Towards Oppressors

There are now so many different strains of death metal that nailing the genre's true essence has becoming almost entirely pointless. From adherents to AUTOPSY's sludgy code, right through to the hyper-blasting atonality of the brutal DM set, there are many ways to honor the ancient gods. But by conjuring the spirit of atmospheric, early '90s technical death metal, with a special nod to MORBID ANGEL, TRIBE OF PAZUZU are providing an admirable service. There are plenty of bands marching down that same left-hand path, but "Blasphemous Prophecies" is the work of respected veterans, each with a direct link to the old school, and everything about this screams superiority as a result.

A well-oiled machine with nothing but nefarious savagery in mind, TRIBE OF PAZUZU take no prisoners. "We Serve Under No God" is a vicious statement of intent and principle. Any band with CRYPTOPSY's Flo Mounier on the drums is going to rip hard and fast, but even by his own standards, the Canadian is on blistering form here. Frontman Nick Sagias has one of those haughty and commanding growls that always have more impact than unintelligible gutturals. Less concerned with dynamics than with sustaining an athletic blitzkrieg, TRIBE OF PAZUZU seldom pause for breath, with even lead guitarist Randy Harris's solos resounding with manic urgency. Done and dusted in less than four minutes, "We Serve Under No God" is a perfect and punishing opener.

What follows is seven more agile and inventive bursts of flat-out old-school death metal. Imbued with plenty of Lovecraftian menace, and often leaning hard into more blackened waters, the likes of "Countess of Blood" and "Pazuzu Incarnate" pull off the impressive trick of sounding timely and timeless. At their sharpest and catchiest on the title track and the unholy blast-fest of closer "Towards Oppressors", TRIBE OF PAZUZU get everything right here and "Blasphemous Prophecies" is death metal incarnate.

Author: Dom Lawson
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