At the Mercy of Satan
posted on 7/2012 By:
Some bands are born great, some achieve greatness, and some thrust their greatness upon any and all unsuspecting listeners with a crude, gleeful abandon born of palpable malevolence. Mysterious Bolivian newcomers Satanic Bloodspraying play a supercharged style of primitive black metal vaguely in line with Venom, early Bathory, the intentional atavism of Blasphemy or Ildjarn, and the constant hammering precision of Impaled Nazarene. More important than that, however, is the fact that At the Mercy of Satan is reckless, disgusting, and approximately five metric ass-tons of fun.
There’s not much in the way of information available regarding Satanic Bloodspraying’s personnel. The booklet lists two individuals, The Ani-Mal Pervertor and The Connoisseur Of Death, but with the former responsible for ‘satanic thunder and armageddon buzzsaws’ and the latter ‘apocalyptic visions and collector of falling souls’, do they have a drummer? Is the drumming programmed? Are these two individuals in fact machines sent from the future to kill John Connor with their filthy metal noise? Thankfully, the resounding, unavoidable answer is “Who gives a shit since this ruckus smokes.”
Satanic Bloodspraying’s modus operandi is purposefully simplistic, although the stellar production lends the music’s crudity a measure of sophistication. That is, unlike most similarly barbaric black metal acts, the sound is full and clear without bleeding off the slightest bit of the band’s gnarled, hell-drunk ferocity. The wonderfully-titled opener “Draining Blood” doesn’t even really need a riff to speak of; instead, the guitars just lean with all their might behind a single note, occasionally lurching up a half-step before collapsing back into a single-minded battering ram. “Satanic Skullfuck” ups the complexity factor by containing precisely two riffs and one drum beat, and honestly, if that’s not enough for you, why not go fellate a symphony orchestra?
Whichever of these unknown malcontents is responsible for the vocals puts on one hell of a show throughout At the Mercy of Satan. The shouted vocals are frequently understandable, which does wonders when most of the band’s songs are such puke-a-long blitzes of simple, satanic sloganeering. Listen to the break on “Tetragrammaton” for some demented throat-flaying that verges on Mortuus (of Marduk) territory. On “Wrath of Baal,” the screamed exhortations to “Release the wrath of Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal!!!” are almost Baloff- or Doty-ish, in a roundabout, punkish black metal sort of way.
As the album goes on, however, what surprises more than anything is that, despite the implacably distempered clattering the band exults in producing, there is quite a bit of depth and variety on display. “Necro Dominatrix” effectively rides wave after wave of cresting tension; “March the Dead” is unexpectedly regal, giving off a strong late-period Immortal / I vibe; and “The Day the Earth Stood Still” is more patient still, as a fantastically dank bass tone walks the unhurried guitar chords down cobwebbed stairs to an ancient, clammy crypt.
Oh, and the best thing about this whole nasty business? The entire bleeding mess explodes and resolves in just twenty-four perfectly judicious minutes. In, out, punch your neighbor: done. Hell’s Headbangers has been having one, er, hell of a winning year so far with Pseudogod, Mongrel’s Cross, and now Satanic Bloodspraying. They may well rupture one of the nine circles of hell in the process, but who can be bothered with that when the goods on offer are so thoroughly and winningly neck-wrecking? Place yourself at the mercy of Satanic Bloodspraying and pray gladly to the gods of metal that they be not merciful.
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