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Profane Prayer – Tales of Vagrancy and Blasphemy

by Jon Wild
April 21, 2013 –

profane_prayer-tales_of_vagrancy_and_blasphemyOne of the things that distinguished Norwegian black metal from what had preceded it was its emphasis on storytelling: inviting the listener to not just observe, but be an active participant in discovering the meaning behind the work. The elements of composition were not, in themselves, the end goal of a song, but rather were tools used to convey the artist’s intention.

By using heroic imagery coupled with atonal yet melodic music, it went beyond the violent deconstruction of death metal by showing not only that the supposed progress of the modern era has been a sham, it offered an alternative: a return to an earlier age, a time when survival depended upon more than earning enough money to purchase antidepressants and microwave dinners.

This core of black metal was something that was increasingly lost as the genre became more popular, as newer bands overlooked this when attempting to understand how to play this genre of music.

As one of these contemporary bands, Profane Prayer plays black metal in the later Darkthrone style with an old school heavy metal influence. Indicative of its generation, this track (taken from their upcoming album) at first glance has all the elements of black metal: screaming vocals, pounding blastbeats, dissonant tremolo picking, and anti-christian themes.

However, what is lacking is the artistic vision the presages its creation. Although all of the individual components may be sound, there is nothing linking them together. Sections of the song are easily recognizable and there is care in how they are ordered, but the song does not challenge the listener to discovery. Like most black metal of its age, it’s not awful, but not particularly good either. If this band could couple their musical talent with a deeper artistic spirit, they would assuredly have a worthwhile composition.

Tales of Vagrancy and Blasphemy will be released via No Colours Records the first week of May.

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4 comments

  • Metal Command

    This is better than average, but still not good. It’s comparable to Satanic Warmaster in that it’s Darkthrone-inspired black metal that just doesn’t quite make it out of the standard thought patterns regarding how to connect up these riffs and how to write them. I couldn’t listen to this day after day for ten years, but I can do that with early Darkthrone.

    Reply
  • Aleister Crowley (The Bisexual Sadist)

    Can great black metal albums exist in the internet age? You no longer have to struggle to find shows, albums, or people. The idea has long been propagated and can now easily be accessed and understood. Has life become too simple for people to be able to create the next Hvis Lyset Tar Oss?

    Reply

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