Black Priest of Satan – “Element Of Destruction” (Deathstrike Records)
With Nordic Black Metal now reaching sophisticated levels and being somewhat removed from its primitive beginnings, that early black mantle has passed onto others still content to revel in musty darkness, fetid fashions and unspeakable practices. Black Priest of Satan certainly fit that bill. A Teutonic duo splendidly titled Molestor Kadotus (Unholy Summonings i.e. drums) and Avenger (Damnation and Impurity i.e. everything else), Black Priest of Satan first presented themselves to cultists of the Left Hand Path in 2007 and through a string of increasingly evil EPs have invoked hell itself in this debut full length release! Whilst many might chuckle that some are still plodding around frozen graveyards in stormtrooper boots on a friday night trying to be satanic badasses, this raw primitive style, as proven during its time, has tremendous appeal if musically balanced to achieve the right atmosphere (evil naturally) even if not to musical perfection. Black Priest of Satan have done precisely this in focusing more on Theistic Satanism, occultism, mysteries of the soul, darkness and death rather than the usual Christ bashing. Likewise, their music takes an almost putrid doom death pace instead of the usual blast beating style while keeping to a decayed sound with plenty of musty production, frayed bass – and an endless reverb in the guitar that at times sounds like its being tortured – brilliant! The dull, thudding drums contrast effectively with the demonic vocals, rasps, groans and ghostly wails that make it sound like the album was recorded in a dungeon – just like the inquisition especially when those creepy church organs come in!! However, that’s not saying the 6 tracks blur into monotony, as the intelligent use of very subtle dark melodies and arrangements make the material possessing in its captivating nature. With songs like ‘Blazing Fires In The Night’ and ‘Unheard Prayer’ taking almost 7 minutes, not to mention the 11 minute ‘Ritual Of 3 Candles’, I have to commend this duo in achieving a truly haunting spectacle in the continuation of their journey into darkness.