Ferocious, uncompromising, dense, dark and heavy…
Review by Jason Guest
Release date: 12 September 2015
When the debut Profane Cult from Chile’s Praise The Flame dropped into the inbox here at MR Towers in late 2013 (reviewed here), with it came as many ferocious riffs as did maniacal dive-bomb lead breaks and ruthless drum patterns wrapped in slavering vocals. So when Manifest Rebellion – featuring two tracks from the 2014 split release with Chile’s Abrekadaver – found its way into the crypt at MR Towers, I thought it best to make a point of giving it a blast or two…
After the obligatory intro to set the scene (largely futile because we know what’s coming), death metal barbarity in all its Chilean hostility ensues. With ‘Fire Forces of Hate’, it’s readily apparent that this band is doing this because they mean it and this unbridled ferocity remains at the fore throughout all eight tracks. The title track shifts the dynamic a little by slowing the tempo down for all of ninety seconds before shifting back into the high gears with vicious trem-picked riff after riff being ploughed through, each as barbed as the last. Part way through and a half-time riff coloured with a warped lead break for the most part that lasts about thirty seconds appears and then we are soon thrust once more into ludicrous speed for a crushing coda, the riff at around the 4:50 mark moving the track deeper into the evil atmosphere that has been engulfing us since the eerie intro.
‘The Burial Urns of Grief’ brings more death metal might and so far, it’s a good album and each track has had something to offer but none have really sunk their claws in with an outstanding riff, a memorable hook, or a whole track that delivers the kind of consistent blows that death metal should. The impact so far has been down to its blunt force brutality. ‘Sepulchral Haze’ further intensifies that impact, but lo and behold, about three and a half minutes in, Manifest Rebellion takes a turn for the extraordinary. Initially sounding like more of the same, it’s not long before the complex structure and the dynamic range and control of this track brings to light what this band is capable of. Midway through, the guitars wind around each other in beautiful discordance and a made-for the-mosh-pit riff slams in from out of nowhere and from here on out, Praise The Flame’s Chilean pedigree comes to the fore. ‘Endless Scourge’ is merciless throughout, its momentum unyielding, ‘Venomous Tyranny’ too, the chaotic lead break at its close a fitting end to its depravity and the perfect contrast to the ghostly intro to the ominous ‘Rise The Witchpower’, a track that ‘Cryptic Sovereign Death’ matches in destructive weight.
For the first half, Manifest Rebellion is a good death metal album, but it’s the last five tracks where it becomes even more ferocious, even more uncompromising, and even denser, darker and heavier. That two of the best tracks are from the 2014 split lets it down a little but Praise The Flame have crafted eight crushing death metal tracks, six of which are over five minutes long, that hold their own from start to finish. Ambitious and well-executed, Praise The Flame have created something beautifully ugly.
7 out of 10
- Thanatognomonic (Intro)
- Fire Forces Of Hate
- Manifest Rebellion
- The Burial Urns Of Grief
- Sepulchral Haze
- Endless Scourge
- Venomous Tyranny
- Rise The Witchpower
- Cryptic Sovereign Death