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Prosanctus Inferi – Hypnotic Blood Art

Prosanctus Inferi
Hypnotic Blood Art
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 06 September 2020, 2:50 PM

PROSANCTUS INFERI is a two man black/death metal band from Columbus, Ohio formed in 2005. “Hypnotic Blood Art” is their third full length album; they have also released three demos, an EP, and a split. The production is somewhat raw but fits the style they have going. Swirling black metal riffs mix with more groove oriented death metal riffs to create a sound that is dark, twisted, and perpetual in its goal to provide intense extreme conditions.  This guarantees an album without one bad track but also guarantees that all of them sound about the same, with no real variety presented.  One could argue that people don’t listen to this style for a variety but the truth is a lot of extreme metal bands can, and do, inject more into their sound without compromising brutality.

However, with that being said, there is a certain charm with “Hypnotic Blood Art,” and PROSANCTUS INFERI’s desire to play no holds barred blackened death—they certainly know who they are and what they want to play.  The songs aren’t too slow or overly fast—this mid tempo groove that most of the album sits in works pretty well for the songs as it showcases song writing they took their time on instead of some rushed 100-mile-a-minute jumbled mess.

The album opens with “Dark Scarp of Hell,” and it immediately sets the tone of the album with hammering riffs and drums that had me head banging right away.  Despite how heavy the band is, this song, and all the others, display some catchy and slick riffs.  Jeremy’s drums often times lead the songs, his own work carrying the guitars and bass from one riff to another.  Both Jake’s guitar and bass playing is equally adapt at weaving through black and death metal elements.  As such, the songs have a chaotic feel to them without becoming spastic or random.

The riffs in “Sheol Below,” could cause whiplash and I love how the raspy blackened screams/growls just sort of scrap off the top of the guitars. The song’s mid section is absolutely pulverizing to an almost dizzying degree. The title track ups the speed as the drums attack the snare and double bass for an intimating foundation  for the riffs to bounce around.  Jeremy builds up his intensity as the song goes along but restrains himself to let Jake bring out the guitars more when needed.  This song goes a long way in showcasing how well the two can bring focus on their instruments without overpowering the other player.

Bellicose Spiritual Violence,” is one of my favorite songs from the album.  The vocals sound so arcane and hate filled that it sent shivers down my spine.  Likewise, the bass guitar doubles down on this huge, dense wall of sound that holds its own while also bringing out the large guitar riffs. “Geist Enthralled,” seems to have some of the more intricate riffs in places which breaks up the monotony quite a bit but sets the stage for the song’s more simpler riffs to sound even more brutal.  The pace is suddenly changed around the 2:41 mark for a truly unrelenting passage consisting of heavy grooves and harrowing screams.

The final track, “The Fearful Pits,” is more methodical than some of the tracks, spending over a minute building up the song before the vocals kick in.  I absolutely loved the drums on this one, a very frantic and wide display of power. All in all, PROSANCTUS INFERI’s “Hypnotic Blood Art,” is a decent extreme metal album that doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t and focuses on the purest elements of the genre.

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

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Dark Scarp of Hell
2. Pulpit Sycophants
3. Sheol Below
4. Hypnotic Blood Art
5. Blood Synod
6. Torture Enraped
7. Bellicose Spiritual Violence
8. Void Called as Black Bonds
9. Geist Entrhalled
10. Washed In The Blood
11. The Fearful Pit
Lineup:
Jake Kohn – Guitars, Bass, Vocals
Jeremy Spears - Drums
Record Label: Nuclear War Now! Productions
     


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