Profanatica was spawned after Paul Ledney split from Incantation.
This American black/death metal band retained a lot of the same spirit, musically, and took things just deeper into the flames
of Hell. The band's first demo, Putrescence of... (later known as As Tears of Blood Stain the Altar of Christ),
emerged from the fiery abyss in June 1990.
Decades ago, as with later on, the Profanatica sound was very much similar
to that of Incantation. For anyone familiar with the latter, the main differences would have to be a bit more straightforward
songwriting, at times, and of course the higher and raspier vocals. This vocal approach actually suited the music a lot better,
and helped to convey a dark and evil feeling. Though this tape only contains two songs, it is certainly memorable and was
probably one of the most sinister things to be released in the states that year. The compositions are very primitive and do
not, at all, flow in the same way that Incantation's material did around that time. However, the somewhat sloppy playing only
served to accentuate the rawness of the overall atmosphere and hearkened back to the First Wave bands. There does exist more
variation than one might expect, with "Raping of Angels" featuring various riffs that blend black, death and doom metal into
one rather epic piece of music. The same can be said of "Final Hour of Christ", which sounds like it may have had an influence
on bands like Beherit and Archgoat, stylistically. The mixture of fast and chaotic sections with the more mid-paced parts,
and even the hellish solo work, really brings those bands to mind.
The production is pretty good, considering that
this is a demo from 1990. The sound is very raw and ugly, which suits the material perfectly. There are really no complaints
with the mix, though it would not have hurt if the vocals had been a fraction higher. Nonetheless, the sound is good as it
stands. The guitars have enough power to really convey the doomy parts well, while still possessing enough of an edge for
the fast sections to saw through you.
Putrescence of... is a very powerful demo, albeit much too brief. Sometimes,
it is a good thing to leave people wanting more, but there never was a real payoff to this. It took seventeen years before
Profanatica would manage to release a full-length album, sadly. Though there were other demos, splits and an E.P. to their
credit, this band sat back in the shadows for far too long while inferior acts took it upon themselves to make horrid music
to ruin any chance that the states had in creating a respectable reputation in the black metal underground. Nevertheless,
anyone into primitive black metal that actually conveys an evil vibe should seek this out.
(20 Apr. 2014)
Released 1991, Weeping in Heaven is the first official release
from Profanatica. These guys were ahead of most in the American underground in picking up on the corpse paint, as evidenced
by the cover photo. More importantly, though, Profanatica was probably the most evil band in the country at this particular
moment in time. This release only includes two tracks, but this material is rather essential for anyone into Black / Death
from this time period.
The music is still pretty similar to the old Incantation stuff, being a mixture of hellishly
fast parts that featured sinister tremolo melodies and then the mid-paced parts that injected a good dose of doom into things.
In 1991, black metal was still allowed to sound like this, with the thicker guitars and the slow sections mixed in. The atmosphere
is still dark and evil and the demonic vocals really add a lot to this. The first track is a bit plodding, at times, never
really getting to the point where it flows too well, until the end. The really primitive drumming may have something to do
with that. "Heavenly Father" is more straightforward and fast-paced. there are some tempo changes, but not as much. The production
is fairly rough, but clear enough to follow. The sound is not as harsh as The Oath of Black Blood, for example, but it suits
the stripped-down approach of the music quite well.
Weeping in Heaven is raw and primitive black/death metal
that should please any fan of early Incantation, Beherit, Archgoat and so on. Here, Profanatica managed to do what so few
in the states could accomplish in the decades after: actually making evil-sounding music with an atmosphere of darkness. Seek
(22 Apr. 2014)