Profanatica – The Curling Flame of Blasphemy (2016)

profanatica the curling flame of blasphemy

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.

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29 thoughts on “Profanatica – The Curling Flame of Blasphemy (2016)”

  1. Ludvig B.B. (vOddy) says:

    I am quite unfamiliar with Profanatica, so this review may not be for me, but:
    It is well written.

    1. bung butter says:

      Listen to Dethrone the Son of God.

    2. Vigilance says:

      Profanatitas is their artistic peak though you should get their compilation Enemy of Virtue as well.

      1. I second this view. Profanatitas de Domonatia is their musical peak, and Dethrone the Son of God their artistic peak (as Havohej). This new album is revisiting old ground in a hasty and disorganized manner and results in very little enjoyment and a lot of feeling like I should like this because it is underground because Jesus is sodomized in every line. But, as with Immolation, when a strong opinion becomes shtick, a band ventures into Alex Jones territory and the mystery and beauty are lost.

  2. Tom Cocck says:

    thank you for this great review. do you think you could review Ungod’s recently released album ?

    1. Inferior Being says:

      Didn’t know it existed. I haven’t been moved by their previous work.

  3. Roger says:

    Too much punk; not enough metal (thank God for that fucking lone lead line just after 3:30. I thought I was listening to Repulsion before then).

  4. Lance Faggio says:

    Is it worth my time to listen to? I have a hard time sitting through bullshit let alone motivating myself to write about it.

  5. 1349 says:

    Can’t know if the review is adequate to the album content but it’s pleasing to read.

  6. plop and smear says:

    What does Brett Stevens have to say about it?

    1. Robert says:


      1. Ludvig B.B. (vOddy) says:

        Brett Stevens should leave forever so that sheep like you will have to learn to think for yourselves

        1. Ludvig B.B. (vOddy) says:

          Just kidding, I like to have him around.
          But fuck. Stop this behavior. Be more metal.

          1. The Pope says:

            The real question is: what would Jesus do?

    2. Bertt Stebens says:

      8 sodomized altar boys out of 10

      Ledney should stick to singing castrato.

    3. Vigilance says:

      Nobody has heard from him in months. He emailed a pic of himself to writers about a month ago which had him in a ski mask glueing torn pages of Spinoza and the Kabbalah together. There were three cats on his shoulders. Six cats spelling Hessian in the background. And nine cats forming a seal of Solomon at his feet.

      1. C.M. says:

        Haha… is it weird that that made me horny?

    4. BlackPhillip says:

      Maybe you can listen to it and form your own opinion.

      1. plop and smear says:

        I have, I’m not interested in what the other writers have to say though.

        1. Why do you care what Brett would say? Your own lack of critical thinking ability?

          1. ay lmao says:

            Here’s something to read:

            Brett’s modus operandi is writing badly phrased and disjointed paragraphs until he can put out his lucid masterpieces. It’s the same with David, except he can’t be bothered with the conclusion; instead, he just starts referencing it as if it had already been published.

            I’m looking forward to your good writing.

            1. David Rosales says:

              In other words… you blame us for your inability to think on your own?

              We do not pander, we try to offer conduits. I can’t be bothered to think for you.

              As my teacher used to say “I did not come here to cure the stupid.”.

          2. plop and smear says:

            I respect Brett’s writing. As far as critical thinking is concerned, I’ve concluded that many bands he championed are crap. Averse Sefira is of a certain quality, sure, but they aren’t worthy of being held higher than the first couple Immortal or Gorgoroth albums. Morgengrau was also shit.

            Still, Brett’s writings are more considerate of everything that went into the creation of a listening experience and its intended effect than the nu writers. Backpedaling on obvious crap like Ares Kingdom and the Liers in Wait review that can be summed up as “sick I guess” are unnecessary and shows a lack of critical thinking ability on the new writers part. This Profanatica review is just a long form regurgitation of observations made by a few people on this sites forum for the previous couple releases.

            1. There was no backpedaling there. Different writers have different tastes, especially when wheeling out the B listers.

            2. Vigilance says:

              I think you are dense if you believed the liers in wait review fell anywhere near praise.

  7. I blew my head off like Per Ohlin says:

    If we’re supposed to form our own opinion by listening to it, then what’s the point of any review?

    1. Ludvig B.B. (vOddy) says:

      Reviews are only useful if the reviewer has similar values as you. That’s why I use this website – it’s the best source of metal recommendations.

    2. BlackPhillip says:

      So……you only appreciate what others tell you is worth appreciation? Please tell me you just didn’t think through that response before you hit the Post Comment button.

  8. zerothworld’s dust says:

    When I listening to this song it feels a little weird, I was thinking “Wow, Is Profanatica writing Romanticism music now?”

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