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Blasphematory – The Lower Catacombs

Blasphematory
The Lower Catacombs
by Gary Hernandez at 25 June 2022, 7:46 PM

BLASPHEMATORY is a Death Metal trio out of New Jersey, US. They formed in 2018 and released their second full-length album, “The Lower Catacombs,” on May 13, 2022 via Nuclear Winter Records. The album comprises seven tracks—five new tracks and two that appeared on previous splits, “New Jersey Metal Attack” volumes 4 and 5. The album is as furious and misshapen as the hellish cover art (Axel Hermann) that adorns it.

As intense as “The Lower Catacombs” gets, it is also melodic and nuanced. Even at its grisliest, there surfaces over and over again brutal harmonies that somehow make sense of the ferocious blast beats and the insanely down-tuned rhythms. Ironically, the only thing which challenges the saturation level of Joe Aversario bass are his own vocals.

My favorite thing about this album are the weird surprises like the minimalist break in “Perpetual Despair” that reduces the composition to its raw essence before building it up again into a tower of malformed flesh and bruised sinews. Other treats include the breakneck percussion intro to “Flooded Gates”; the scratchy choir which opens “The Corruption of Saints” before Tom Deceiver’s riffs slaughter all semblance of peace and innocence; and the curious opening of “Key to the Furnace” which resolves into probably the best track on the album. So, there’s something there about how BLASPHEMTORY chooses to unpackage their tracks, starting with an unexpected hook, followed by crushing riffs, and then melodic flourishes which sometime recall Melodic Black and at other times decadent Doom.

As I worked my way through the album, I ran into tracks that were so strong I wondered why the band didn’t go with them as title tracks. “Key to the Furnace,” for instance, would have made a great album title and could easily carry the album with its lethal intent. But then came “Corruption of Saints” and I thought, “Why not this one?” All my questions, however, were laid to rest as I progressed through the final track, “The Lower Catacombs.” Complete masterpiece this song. Perfectly captures the essence of the album as well as the band itself. All in all, this sophomore release by BLASPHEMTORY is a solid follow-up to their debut, “Depths of the Obscurity.” Highly recommended to lovers of Death, Grindcore, and other extreme forms of metal mayhem.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.  Cruciform Shadows
2.  Unclean Eulogies
3.  Key to the Furnace
4.  Perpetual Despair
5.  Flooded Graves
6.  The Corruption of Saints
7.  The Lower Catacombs
Lineup:
Joe Aversario – Bass, guitars, vocals
Chris Warhead – Drums
Tom Deceiver – Guitars (rhythm)
Record Label: Nuclear Winter Records
     


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Edited 06 October 2022
 

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