Hells Headbangers: Acid Witch + Denial of God + The Royal Arch Blaspheme + Mongrel’s Cross

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Reviews by Jason Guest

Acid Witch – Witchtanic Hellucinations

Who? Exactly. Acid Witch have long been so deep down, so oh-so-very deep down in the muck and mire of the underground, cooking up their witch’s brew of psychedelic doom/death-meets-horror soundtrack for the few that dare to digest its potency. In the wake of the band recently garnering increased recognition, first released on Razorback Records in 2008, Hell’s Headbangers have taken it upon their ungodly selves to re-release Witchtanic Hellucinations, a cult classic, to satisfy the demand. The doom riffs and the simplistically dense drumming chug along like a lead-booted Frankenstein’s monster wading in mud; the lead work and the organ summons up all kinds of eerie atmospheres; and the vocals, in their reverberated deathly grind, slam the final nail in the coffin. And to top off the abundance of rancid riffs and psychedelic organ lines woven into its matted webs – as if you couldn’t tell from the track titles – it’s laced with an unhealthy dose of tongue-in-cheek humour. Halloween’s approaching (at the time of writing, at least) and you need a soundtrack that’ll scare the shit out of the kids knocking your door threatening all kinds of mischief unless you fill ‘em up on sugar. This is it. See how they run…

8 out of 10

  • Visit Acid Witch on Facebook here
  • Visit them on Hells Headbangers’ bandcamp page here

Track Listing:

  1. Intro
  2. Into The Cave
  3. Swamp Spells
  4. Witchblood Cult
  5. The Black Witch
  6. Witchtanic Hellucinations
  7. Beastly Brew
  8. Cauldron Cave
  9. Rabid Werewitch
  10. Realm Of The Wicked
  11. Witches Tits
  12. Broomstick Bitch
  13. October 31st

 

Denial of God – Death And The Beyond

Prowling and scowling  in Denmark’s underground since 1991, Denial of God’s moniker suggests that their subject matter would largely consist of the usual black metal blasphemies and endless tributes to the horned naughty one who gets all the best tunes. Yet for Death and The Beyond, their second full length (and first since 2006), we are treated to an abundance of funereal imagery including first-person narratives from corpses crumbling in coffins, tearlful mourners, the voices of terrified children echoing through old houses, and the remorseless voice of pestilence itself. Yet while it may not be the most stirring of black metal albums, it’s got more than its fair share of merits. The lyrical imagery is very good (though not quite poetic), as are the melancholic melodies, and the galloping riffs and atmospherics that carry the album are noteworthy. Denial of God is far from the most technical of bands but they do use what they have at their behest very well. Their approach is one of simplicity and effectiveness but it’s where the band step out of the usual black metal aesthetic that makes this album worth a peep. Were they to crank it up, they could produce something phenomenal.

6.5 out of 10

  • Visit Denial of God’s website here or on Facebook here
  • Visit Denial of God at Hells Headbangers here

Track Listing:

  1. Veni Spiritus
  2. Funeral
  3. Behind The Coffin’s Lid
  4. The Cursed Chamber
  5. Bones Turned To Dust
  6. Black Dethe
  7. Spectral Lights
  8. Pendulum Swings

 

The Royal Arch Blaspheme – II

Album number two – hence the imaginative title – from The Royal Arch Blaspheme is just perverted. Primitive, raw, savage, and laced in scorn, the tracks are varied in tempo, feels, and structures. For the longer tracks such as ‘Ashes of the Holy Ghost’, ‘Resurrection of Depravity’ and the eight-minute ‘Broken Word of God’ in particular, The Royal Arch Blaspheme utilise time to explore dynamics, depth, and atmospheres in such a way as to extend their aesthetic beyond what could have been simply another album of blackened filth, albeit an accomplished one. N. Imperial’s vocals are that of the soul being torn from the body by a thousand deviant devotees of pain and suffering and Gelso’s instrumentation and his ear for the hypnotic as well as the twisted and tortured mark this duo out as more than capable of crafting utter barbarity. With a suitably offensive sound to the album, it’s the grubby sound of the bass that gives it a deeper and darker sonic aspect, sometimes even to the point of overshadowing the guitars. And in this case, it’s no bad thing. There are times when the album loses its steam and the tracks feel as if they’re about to fall apart, but there are times that this frailty adds to the overall feel of the track. Though not a far cry from their debut, it may not be a huge step for the band but it’s definitely well worth a listen.

7 out of 10

  • Visit The Royal Arch Blaspheme at Hells Headbangers here

Track Listing:

  1. When The Cruel Nails Pierced Thy Tender Hands And Feet
  2. Five Sacred Wounds
  3. Lust, Blood, Sacrum
  4. Ashes Of The Holy Ghost
  5. Profane Rite
  6. Psalm 39
  7. Resurection Of Depravity
  8. Pious, Suffer In Corrosion
  9. Vama-Marga (Parts 1 And 2)
  10. Broken Word Of God

 

Mongrel’s Cross – The Sins of Aquarius

For their debut full length, Australia’s Mongrel’s Cross have delved deep into the very blackened hearts of their influences to capture the essence of black, death, thrash and heavy metal in all its visceral glory. The pounding drums and punishing riff that open this album are a clear indication of the blasphemous savagery that is soon to follow. This is sheer barbarity. Grand Mongrel’s and Goat Euryn’s cut-throat riffs, firewall chords, and torturous leads sit atop Necros Craigos’s barrage of drums to provide a bunch of fire-and-brimstone tracks that are as strong as they are relentless. And Grand Mongrel’s guttural vocal delivery fleshes the album out with enough spit and blood to make it truly sickening. Mongrel’s Cross have bestowed upon themselves enough space to imbue their sound with as much unremitting rage and despair as they can without compromising the black metal aesthetic. In terms of structure, the tracks seem to follow a line, the lyrics plotting an arc towards victory so that by the time ‘When The Dragon Gives Birth’ – and the album – reaches its zenith, you’ll willingly be playing devil’s advocate and preaching to the soon-to-be-converted. A solid debut.

7.5 out of 10

  • Visit Mongrel’s Cross at Hells Headbangers here
  • Visit Mongrel’s Cross on Facebook here

Track listing:

  1. The Sins Of Aquarius
  2. Rabid Inception
  3. Lead Them From The Promised Land
  4. Hunters Of The Born Again
  5. Indulge The Temple
  6. Revelations Transpire
  7. When The Dragons Give Birth

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