The Metal Examiner: Blaspherian’s Infernal Warriors of Death

Every Friday, The Metal Examiner delves metal’s endless depths to present the genre’s most important and exciting albums.

Blaspherian - Infernal Warriors of DeathBlaspherian: Infernal Warriors of Death (Deathgasm Records, 3/8/11)

Blaspherian: “Infernal Warriors of Death”

[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/05.-Infernal-Warriors-Of-Death.mp3|titles=Blaspherian – Infernal Warriors of Death]

The cover art of Infernal Warriors of Death bears a striking resemblance to Dawn of Possession, so it’s no surprise that Blaspherian‘s debut full-length shares quite a bit with early Immolation. Although formed in 2004, Blaspherian is far from prolific, having only released a demo, an EP, and a few splits previous to this recording. Its 2007 EP was a respectable old-school death-metal release, but it was not enough of a unique statement to set it apart from the classic bands of the early ’90s and late ’80s.

However, with Infernal Warriors of Death, Blaspherian has claimed its spot in Texas’ long history of extreme metal. This is crowded territory, as the state has offered up one of the genre’s initial classics in Necrovore‘s Divus de Mortuus demo, underrated technical thrash bands in Rigor Mortis and Dead Horse, and two of the most compelling United States black-metal bands in Absu and Averse Sefira.

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Guest Spots: Doom artist Justin Bartlett’s current favorites

Justin Bartlett has created art for some of your favorite bands and labels: SUNN O))), Intronaut, and Southern Lord, among many others. A self-described “black-ink warlock from the grim and frostbitten raven-realm of Southern California,” Bartlett knows metal and doom aesthetics. It’s only natural that he knows of a few bands you should hear too.

Bands and Artists You Should Know
by Justin Bartlett

Constructing a cohesive theme for my guest column at ALARM was not forming in my skull. Top Ten Album Releases for 2010? Top Ten Favorite Artists? Top Ten Fish Tacos? Hmm…nothing.

Perhaps this needs to be more KVLT and underground…Top 10 Cassette Releases? Nah, the tape thing has been played out enough. Bear with me….Top Six Uses of Upside-Down Crosses on Album Artwork? Ah, fuck it, here’s a list of nine bands and visual artists that I enjoy, find inspirational, or simply think are interesting and who you should check out for yourself. All of the visual artists I’ve listed have created artwork for bands, but some of the musicians/bands do not necessarily have outstanding album aesthetics. Either visually or musically (and sometimes both), they weave together textures that are dark, grim, and, to a person with a penchant for the negative, often cathartic.
 
Blessure Grave

1. Blessure Grave

Blessure Grave was one of the best things to come out of San Diego’s rather lackluster and safe indie music scene for years. Although its post-punk sound gives a nod to some of my favorites — Joy Division, Death In June, The Cure, and The Chameleons — the band played with enough conviction and creativity to avoid being too derivative. Structurally, the band has a very strong pop drive to its material with an underlying bedroom black-metal atmosphere. Blessure Grave released a ton of EPs on vinyl and cassette, and Judged by Twelve, Carried by Six was one of my favorite releases of 2010. Unfortunately, the band broke up recently, but luckily I was able to work on a cassette cover for When I Die before its demise. Blessure Grave’s mastermind, Tobias [Grave], started a new band called Soft Kill.

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The Metal Examiner: Inquisition’s Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm

Every Friday, The Metal Examiner delves metal’s endless depths to present the genre’s most important and exciting albums.

Inquisition: Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical MacrocosmInquisition: Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm (Hell’s Headbangers, 1/11/2011)

Inquisition: “Crepuscular Battle Hymn”

[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/08-Crepuscular-Battle-Hymn.mp3|titles=Inquisition – Crepuscular Battle Hymn]

Initially formed as a thrash band in the ’80s in Colombia, Inquisition developed a buzz-saw, black-metal sound by the mid-’90s while simultaneously relocating to Washington. Its trademark became lightning-speed, grinding power chords and an atmosphere of ritualistic Satanism.

Since Into the Infernal Regions of the Ancient Cult in 1998, Inquisition has stuck to its sound with a Motörhead-like tenacity. Its newest effort, Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm, is its strongest output since Magnificent Glorification of Lucifer in 2004.

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