Reviewing Everything That Happens To Be Stacked Up Against or Near The Stereo, Installment 1
Inspired by the a recently-acquired issue of the indefatigable Roctober and by the latest-arriving order from Hells Headbangers, I commit myself to providing capsule descriptions of every LP presently leaning either against the LP rack doubles as a stand for the stereo and/or leaning against the wall to the right of said stereo/rack combo. Why? Well, why not?
Blasphemophager, Nuclear Empire of Apocalypse (Nuclear War Now! Productions, 2008): Doesn't really hit a stride until the last song on side one, "Devastating Radioactive Torments" - prior to that it sounds like South American war/beer metal. Which is fine, don't get me wrong. But these guys are from Italy, and Italian metal, like Italian horror cinema, works best when it just puts all the emphasis on atmosphere and lets the plot take care of itself. If you want to talk about the half-full glass, though: when they do hit that sepulchral atmosphere, you can smell fumes coming out of the speakers, and all wine-tasting nonsense questions like "but what of the character of this band?" can be comfortably tabled when the shredding gets as intense as it occasionally does here. I'm not in love with the whole album, but when I say "it's got its moments," I'm not kidding. Comes in a gorgeous gatefold sleeve that recalls Into the Pandemonium except it's matte, not glossy, and I don't remember Tom G. Warrior wearing a gas mask in his inner-sleeve portraits, which he should have, because, you know, gas mask.
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