Andramelech – Blasphemy And Carnage Live

What a difference 9 months can make. After just that slim period of time after the release of their ‘The Black Death Of The Grind Skulls’ demo, Andramelech’s sound took a huge step up, maintaining their level of brutal traditionalism while hugely advancing their instrumental and songwriting abilities. Everything on ‘Blasphemy And Carnage Live’ is a tremendous leap from the previous demo, and it cements Andramelech as a band that performs capably in every aspect of their art. There’s even two bass drums now!

The music is substantially more brutal here than on the previous demo. Honestly, opening track ‘Nearest Of Thy Doom’ seriously sounds like Kult Ov Azazel in the beginning before it goes it a weirder, more abstract mid-paced section. There’s almost a war metal feel here, with the blasting and double bass sections evened out by the churning, discordant chug portions. All these mid-paced riffs remind me of Morbid Angel, which individual chords bent and twisted into mockeries of what they once were. This replaces the subtle melodic ambiance of the demo; there’s none of that here. No, now this is like Gorguts with Euronymous circa 1987 playing primitive black/thrash with a pinch of death. The improved production has helped this music greatly, and now the pieces are in possession of a sort of dark majesty that is at once distinctive and abstract.

The opening riff for ‘Memories Of My Bright Past’ is just so strange and well-phrased that you can’t help but like it. The riffs here also seem to be pretty long phrases, some actually seeming to go on for four lines per repetition. It adds a great deal more variance to the music, and yet it seems natural: this progressive nature is never one consciously sought by the musicians, but rather the natural outgrowth of their collective creative impulse. The best, most intense music seems to be made that way, and this is no different: it’s heavy, dark, aggressive, and it has that live sound that you just won’t hear anywhere else.

The instrumental skill on this album has increased about 500%, and there’s a bass! The drumming in particular has been smoothed out and deepened considerably, and the guitar possesses none of the occasional misses of the previous release. It’s all just been tightened up dramatically, and it’s such a big boost to the music. Now that the riffs are more audible due to the improved production, you can really appreciate the complexity of songs like ‘The Undefeteable Legions’. Really, this takes Andramelech from a niche band for those who love the rawest of raw black/thrash to a great deal more people who simply like traditional black metal with occasional pinches of modernity.

‘Blasphemy And Carnage Live’ is a great step up from the previous release and only promises more from the future. Like the previous demo, it is free to download from the band’s Myspace and official site, so you should most certainly check this one out. It’s got riffs, fast double bass, angry vocals, and lots and lots of Satan. What more could you ask for in a heavy metal band?

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~ by noktorn on August 1, 2007.

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