Ptahil     

The Almighty Propagator Of Doom And Despair

Wraith Productions 2012

Another year, another heretical chapter in the storied history of the blackened American horde known as Ptahil.  And as with every album before, The Almighty Propagator Of Doom And Despair sees them venturing in a new direction that incorporates new stylistic elements while maintaining the fundamental core that makes Ptahil an entity unto themselves.  Steering away from the heavy rhythms that permeated For His Satanic Majesty's Glory, the new album concentrates on compulsory speed and obscurity.  I was initially struck by the strange production on album opener Satanicus Sabbathicus.  The guitars are buried and thing and the vocals and drums pulse over the top of everything.  The undulating coils of riffs and the blasts of speed are a bit washed out and trebly early on, but once your ears adjust you are swept under by the dense blasphemy of the track.  The album really gains momentum on Possessed By Death.  Lumbering riffs and gurgled vocals serve to create a morbid atmosphere on the composition.  The whole track is awash in subterranean sentiment, an intolerant, ceremonial attitude flows through its veins.  A Bathory-esque bounce lurks in the song's second half.  A pompous drum beat and powerful riff combine on Semen, Blood And Shit.  Then the track picks up, infused with energetic black thrash and crackling, trebly production that echoes through every riff.  It drops into a doomier passage before tapering off into oblivion.  Mors Aut Libertas however is more insistent with its increased pacing and denser overall approach.  The riffing takes on a more epic feel while the drumming becomes increasingly uncontrolled and feral.  A circular flow washes over you until you are drowned in a rhythmic plod.  The title-track is a faster, deadlier composition.  It smashes along at a high tempo but never loses control.  A somewhat buried rock foundation reveals itself as the song continues until a funeral trudge drives the song forward, like a dreaded slog through rain and jaded horror.  Ptahil continue their reign as one of America's most bestial black metal enigmas.  Obscurity and morbidity reign within the catacombs where Ptahil resides.  Satanic philosophy colors this entire recording and fills its notes with nihilistic dread.  This is music for those with a truly dark splinter piercing their heart.