“Just like Jesus requires sacrifice…so does Satan.” And so begins Ritual Theophagy, the new album from Italian Death Metal merchants BLASPHEMER. Arriving October 14 via Comatose Music, this is their first album in six years, and my first dance with the group. They are listed as a band that lashes out with inhuman technical brutality. I’d say that is a more than fair assessment. Because 30 seconds into opener “Suicide For Satan” I could hear that perfect balance of the brutal vs. the technical side of things, so needless to say I was more than a little intrigued. Especially since I hate organized religion. The imagery, music, and lyrical content is right in my wheelhouse.
“You Are Nothing” ratchets up the brutality, drummer Darren Cesca leading the charge while guitarist Simone Brigo and bassist Clod “The Ripper” De Rosa lay down the machine gun cover fire for vocalist Paolo “Munnezz” Maniezzo to scream, growl, and breathe fire over. I particularly enjoyed the ending sound bite of the young lady referring to Jesus as “a fucking spitwad’ and then doing just that. I told you, this shit gets my motor running, since I was raised in a New York Irish Catholic household, and my attitude will always be, “Fuck the Church!!”
“Jesus Rapes” is the most guttural of all the tracks, and “Worship in the Void” is the kind of Death Metal track you play over and over again, preferably while bringing a window down on someone’s head. Dan Rather’s voice chronicling Pope John Paul II’s shooting in 1981 intros “Anitchristian Extremism”, without a doubt one of my favorites from day one. “Annihilated Divinity” embraces the tech death side of things while at the same time Maniezzo rips your chest open and starts feasting on your organs. “Obscuring the Holy Light” and “Crucifix of Shit (Stench of Prophet)” are all-out bat-swingers, bent on destroying everything they see.
“Fetishistic Idolatry of the Cross” is quite frankly one of the best selections offered here. There is a power and energy coming from the band that is contagious, and you’d be crazy not to love this one. And then the title track comes in, just an electric guitar and the carnivorous vocals. There is a definite Black Metal influence on this song, and that is pretty fucking cool. Overall Ritual Theophagy is a goddamn great record, and I can only hope the guys in BLASPHEMER don’t wait another six years before giving us a great album.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Fetishistic Idolatry of the Cross”, “Jesus Rapes”, “Antichristian Extremism”, “Worship in the Void”, “Ritual Theophagy”, “You Are Nothing”