Hells Headbangers 2012
Blasting death with blackened inspiration strikes like a fiery whip on the new album from Russia's Pseudogod. The first track, Vehement Decimation leaves no doubt as to the intent of Pseudogod. The lightning quick blast beats and shredding guitars flay the flesh from your bones and at times I am reminded of Impiety at their fastest. Malignant Spears alternates between blasting away and mid-tempo pounding. The riffs are somewhat uninspiring. The next song, Saturnalia, ups the speed at first but then drops into a funeral pace. The guitars surge upwards creating a ceremonial texture to the track that almost grabs me. Where Saturnalia failed Azazel succeeds. The opening riff is a scorching, warp-speed frenzy of guitars but the song quickly shifts into majestic mysticism with an atmospheric plod accented by synth and mournful eastern melodies which bring to mind Tiamat at their most Sumerian moments. A similar theme emerges on the album's closer, The Triangular Phosphorescence. An entrancing tempo and memorable moments of spiritual exploration within a blackened death framework transport the listener to a time of demonic glory. In between those two songs are more insanely fast and apocalyptic blackened death metal anthems that grind away your soul with their frenzied, yet controlled riffing and hyper drum lines. At times Pseudogod are an entity which encompasses both deadly speed and esoteric malevolence. However there are also several songs which are just flat and do nothing to stand out from the saturated scene. So the album is really a mixed bag, great at times and ho-hum at others.