Man, it really sucks sometimes when you don’t get into a band until months after their new release is out. If I had known about CRUCIFYRE over the summer they would have been featured in the pages of A&GS a lot sooner, but hey, these things happen. My new friends over at Clawhammer PR saw fit to send me latest record Black Magic Fire (out now, Pulverised Records) simply because they knew it would fit in my wheelhouse. I also have a sneaking suspicion they knew I wouldn’t be able to resist writing about it. As soon as I saw the words “corpse ripping, nun raping, priest fucking, hellish sounding bursts of cisum” it was a foregone conclusion I would. This is dirty, meaty, sweaty, filthy blackened death metal and it’s delicious.
As I was scanning the songs the first one that caught my eye was “Pentagram Palms” because it didn’t immediately try to bludgeon me with blast beats like so many songs of this ilk do. Vocalist Erik “Tormentor” Sahlström has a biting rasp that has me wondering if he’s got a forked tongue. “Baphomet’s Revenge” is a relentless battering ram for most of the song, and features some pipe organ as well as wicked soloing from guitarists Urban Skytt and TG, while the church bells and meat grinder riffs for all six minutes of “Funeral Pyre” made this an instant favorite. At first I wasn’t a big fan of the title track because the music reminded me a bit too much of “Paint it Black” from THE ROLLING STONES, a band I simply fucking hate with a passion. But after a while this one managed to grow on me.
“Faces of Death (His Satanic Shadow)” is all speed, repetition, and power before it slams on the brakes about halfway through and invokes the spirit of early BLACK SABBATH musically, not vocally. Either way, it’s cool. The guitar sound on “Through the Darkness” sounds like it can rip through anything, which made me love it right away. Speaking of guitars, the ominous opening to “Apocalypse Whore” will definitely get your attention quickly, as will the female chorus that comes in after a minute or so before all hell breaks loose. “Anneliese” led me down a path of deception as I really had no idea where we were headed. It starts out one way then hits you with a bit of, “Not so fast!” and then proceeds to shake the ground with a fierce tribal war drum pattern. Blast beats and a wall of sound make up “Wolf’s Hour” which just hits you over the head for a full three minutes.
Closer “And One is One” features some creepy fucking kids chanting away and more buzz saw riffs and fiery solos making this one I kept coming back to. I love a good album closer, and this song is no exception. The driving rhythm of the drums and guitar working together in flux show that they really saved the best for last. Overall, Black Magic Fire is one hell of an album, and CRUCIFYRE will be getting lots and lots of play in the deep, dark depths of A&GS HQ for the forseeable future.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “And One is One”, “Funeral Pyre”, “Through the Darkness”, “Pentagram Palms”