Article by Lance Viggiano.
Profanatica return with a tuneful reinterpretation of their sophomore album, Disgusting Blasphemies Against God, refined by the sensibilities of the successful Sickened by Holy Host / The Grand Master Sessions EP compilation. The band presents a newfound confidence in ambient noise by using amplifier feedback as its own instrument in a more integral fashion than previous releases. The Curling Flame of Blasphemy opts for a slow burn approach where literal variations in tempo are suggestive rather than experienced. The result is ceremonious yet there is no culmination of the ritual, no climax; the whole procession ends on a dour note which does not feel conclusive regardless of its efficacy.
Melodies operate strictly upon the Incantation approach within the Profanatica tradition meaning they focus less on the terror of Golgothan ghouls than the wry amusement of their victory over man and God. Bass root notes roll in parallel over the shoreline, washing away the coarse edges of the guitar landscape, adding to a black morass of sediment that is later hurled against career-high cliffs. The two instruments are as likely to cooperate as they are to compete. Ledney’s vile, broken voice blasphemies are indecipherable and nearly swallowed by the sea. Driving the cacophony is a drum performance that retains the ritualistic approach that has defined Profanatica’s music since the very beginning while also being subjected to an increasing amount of minimalism which reached its apex – if not nadir – on Thy Kingdom Cum. This release sees a minor but welcomed return of the idiosyncratic performances of legend. The harmonic and sometimes counterpointed codas that have come to define their craft since Sickened by Holy Host show the band at its most grand and effective work within this mode.
An inverse relationship between rhythmic and melodic voices which has defined the musical trajectory of Profanatica with each formal release since the debut is pronounced on this. While the latter has blossomed and matured, the former has regressed into a near comatose state – with acknowledgements to the slight recovery here. The marked improvements in musicality also betray Profanatica’s fundamental essence as black metal which finds sources of strength through the bravado of brash and primal cadences. Fundamentally, this music was about motion and the surges of adrenaline which sinks the nails into the meek palms of a bleeding son so that he may join his poor and putrid father, alone in heaven. At this stage in their lifecycle, the death of Christ is a faint memory, heaven remains empty of souls; and yet we still meet every solstice to partake in hallow proceedings to mock, scourge and spit upon a god that quit weeping long ago. With considerations to the development in its musical voice through the abandonment of its past identity, the band would do well find meaning in a world after god. Cutting imagery from the whole cloth of a religion that it tore to the fucking ground to create new symbols would give the music the impetus and urgency it currently lacks.