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Profanatica - Tormenting Holy Flesh (split with Masacre)
Review: The east coast blasphemers of sublime artistic devices found within the most degrading and lowest motivations of the human soul as connectors of desire, in flagrant violation of taste and bourgeois ethos open this recording with searing howls and the minimalist songs they fashion from fragments of concept bent into self-resolving poetic antagonism. In solid tones as well as the lightly picked speeding tremelo that defines in fuzztone some of their lengthy phrases, cadence paces different emotions of various aspects to each song, staggering cyclic interchanges between riff variations to introduce schism and sickeningly convenient resolution.
Guitar defines the space utilized by each phrase with a dominant presence in rhythm and melodic articulation in songs that are composed in counterpoint as fragments of melody becoming sensible and resolving through making oppositional tiers of modal values in harmonic suspension created by their imposition of various intervals in otherwise linear progressions, in effect opening holes in harmony which match similar devices in contrapuntal and recursively designed phrases, moving music by pure melodic "hook" defining both space of instantiation and development of narrative. The fleet footed and dynamically variant percussion of Paul Ledney clamps around the wandering exploration of each song, throbbing and pausing to open spaces for change.
Where songs often work with a dominant theme pair, Profanatica invent those from a central concept in shape of song which effectively defines the range in which its phrases must exist and which transitions they must imply. Concepts diversely range from slowly building theme and epic downturn into a coreless, soulless renaissance to apostate energies channeled into feral rhythm and nothing more. Consistently avantgarde in their assault on frameworks of perception and appreciation of art, these four tracks expound with more than meets the eye on what was then a new direction for black art in metal.
Masacre, destined to be forgotten as an above average on a disc next to those who defined the sound for much of a genre to follow, put together here their sparse works of basic death/grind that will connect glimpses of intellect rising with standard methods of form completion, creating music that lumbers where it could glide and as a result, often fails as a whole to keep the energy it inventively generates and nurtures. With shouted guerrilla vocals and basic instrumentation throughout, this half of the album demonstrates its heights early and then failing to match beginnings with directions of any intellectual sustenance, fades into the genericism of the genre at that time.