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Ancient Rites - Blasfemia Eternal
Review: In some ways similar to the first release from Ancient Rites, this album appropriates some of the styles of black metal for its purposes of decreasing complexity to emphasize rhythm. The tonal aspects of this work are often minimized intentionally in favor of simple riffs of notes and power chords that span distance while a drum rhythm defines a mood and vocal pace shapes it.
Intensely paced and often rippingly aggressive in sheer hand-stroke motion on the guitar, this music puts the blast back into death metal by working in slightly more bizarre structures, throwing in occasional melody or dissonance, and using the strum rhythms to define a metaconcept of each song.
This simplicity further breaks down the death-metal-ness of this music and enhances some flavor, but the consequence is a compositional range of parts wrought from crude granular elements. Guitar solos are throwaway note strings bent serpentine and cast into an abyss of trailing melodic potential; they are generic enough to fit easily into the music and not be noticed.
Abstracted and sinuously resonant rhythms and timbres escape from the guitar as it is maneuvered through fairly technical tempo-shifting passages. Vocals are harsh and compressed often so that the voice seems to escape its owner at lower registers, but the rhythms are off-beat and nearly-on-beat to propel each song further forward. While the primary instrument is guitar with vocals for rhythmic counterpoint, percussion here is the intensely syncopated, mechanistic drumming that badly offset the last album but manages in this to create enough resonating rhythm of opposition to give one the impression of a jackhammer against a punching bag, an eternal struggle of anger versus ignorance.
The rhythms and patterns of this release show a predominant black metal influence but its soul remains the blasting syncopation of death metal, so interpret this to be the mixed bloodline of heavy metal, black metal, and death metal with grindcore touches that it is. Its reason for endurance as an object of listening however is its fluid and alert riff changes and driving, resurgent electricity of impassionment toward motion.