Blasphemy- Blood Upon the Altar & Fallen Angel of Doom
In each genre of music, there’s always some sort of turning point that takes it to the next level. Some would say The Beatles made pop music what it is today, Black Sabbath being the forefathers of heavy metal, and N.W.A giving rap that gangster edge its famous for. But, within the hellish undergrounds of black metal, there was a satanic demo tape that was expelled out of the cold wasteland known as Canada, and that demo has been famously known to be called Blood Upon the Altar, by a group of satanic maniacs simply known as Blasphemy. They’re an infamous band, known locally for their rituals, violence, and criminal activity that even found a few of the members having spent time in the local jails all around the Ross Bay cemetery in Vancouver, British Columbia. It was there when they were possessed to release a form of black metal that took elements of death metal, grindcore, black metal, with bands like Sarcofago, Bathory, and Sodom, and took what they did with music, added a layer of atmosphere that wasn’t present before and took the idea of what extreme black metal is to the next level.
The band originally formed in 1984, with Nocturnal Grave Desecrator and Black Windsbeing the one of the founding members and providing vocals that sound like something a human should never, or could never, utter. Truly the voice of a demon. Then the other founding member, 3 Black Hearts of Damnation and Impuritydelivers a brutal assault of bestial blast beats that rarely if ever let up through out the album, save for a few moments of dark ambient solace that, even then, leaves you with an uneasy feeling of what’s about to come. Later joining them shortly after the two formed the band and providing with them the now infamous wailing guitar screeches, Caller of the
Storms. I can’t even call what he plays riffs, they truly sound like the sounds of demons screaming or angels crying out in agony. And during that time for the band, being the background down tuned guitar is Black Priest of the 7 Satanic Blood Rituals, creating the wall of sound that is in the background of the demo.
And honestly, that’s a good way of describing this demo, and the sub-genre they pretty much created in one demo, known as‘Bestial War Black Metal’, or simply ‘War Metal’, but it can be rather redundant to have so many labels for this type of music, add on top the heavy debates on whether or not it should even be classified as its own sub-genre or be lumped into black/death metal. Its really up to you to decide, to me, this demo created an incredible leap in terms of extreme music, and even then, that’s heavily debated amongst the scene. Some would argue how they don’t have any musical merit, that they’re just wailing on the guitar and banging drums that are mixed like utter trash, and so on and so forth. But, in my opinion they couldn’t be more wrong. These guys were onto something here, and that demo influenced many bands, some being extremely well known, like
Beherit, Archgoat, and later fellow Ross Bay cultists Conquerorand Revenge.
But, that’s all just from one demo, they continued on to release their first full length album only a year later, known as Fallen Angel of Doom, which led to it being known as one of the all time classics for black/death metal and the sub-genres mentioned before. Unlike Blood on The Altar, this album is clearly more focused. They went into the studio with one intention only, and that was to create the most punishing black metal album they can, and they succeeded. Just from the title track, you can already tell what you’re in for, a hellish cacophony of pure and utter destruction. Black Winds, providing vocals that are so incredibly bestial and demonic that honestly doesn’t even sound like English but some form of demonic tongues. There are plenty of rather memorable solos and riffs through out the album provided by Caller of the Storms, and of course, 3 Black Hearts, creating the devastating blast beats that again, do not let up at all through out the album. If there is one thing I’d have to mention as a downside to this rather epic album is that if only the guitars were mixed a little higher, because the snare drums do over power the rest of the instruments except on the wailing guitar solos.
In short, Blasphemy is a legendary band, and one that anyone who’s into metal, any kind of metal, should at least be aware of because of just how fucking extreme they are.