Prosanctus Inferi at a live show last week, I immediately ordered the band's available CD releases, the full-length Pandemonic Ululations of Vesperic Palpitations album and the Red Streams of Flesh EP, as soon as I got home from the show. Thanks to the wonders of the internet both were in my hands by Tuesday and have been in heavy rotation ever since. Prosanctus Inferi are totally brand-new to me, Jacob Shively of Dismemberment's mention of the band and the Pandemonic... LP in a recent interview with gogmagogical being the first time I had heard of their music. And now, having seen them live and playing - and replaying - the 45 minutes of music available to me, I am fully hooked.Wow. Having been absolutely floored by my first experience with
Pandemonic Ululations of Vesperic Palpitations, from 2009, is the proper full-length debut - if a 26-minute record can be called "full length." And, in this case, it should be. Thirteen tracks assault the listener in roughly two-minute segments. These are lead slugs of music; dense as hell, fiercely deadly and absolutely unavoidable. The drums, from Antichristus, blast mercilessly while evil mastermind Jake Kohn provides ragged rhythms, enigmatic leads and subterranean bass layered in some twisted mass grave with spastic gasps of life writhing at its core. An included lyric sheet provides cryptic insight into inscrutable vocals, also uttered by Kohn, adding to the strata of haze enveloping titles such as "Lips of Plasma Vomiting Sanctimonious Pyx," painting an effective, albeit somewhat abstract, picture in the mind's eye of lymphatic plasma soaks the steps of gethsemane...clerical pontiff saturated blood... There is nothing even remotely resembling groove nor hook here yet it is impossible to pull away from this record. The black hole created by Pandemonic Ululations of Vesperic Palpitations is utterly inescapable.
An untitled 13th track on Pandemonic Ululations of Vesperic Palpitations offers an eerie, instrumental escape that segues nicely into much of the same, complete with despairing chapel bells, on "Virgin Subterfuge Chorus," opening the sublime 19 minutes that make up 2011's Red Streams of Flesh. There's a livelier, sharper production present on Red Streams of Flesh, but the product offered remains consistent with its predecessor. Short, shocking blasts of the most primal black metal I have ever heard (and I am, admittedly, far from an aficionado of the genre) offer an indigestible plate of rot that you cannot help but approach, consume and then ask for more, as Red Streams of Flesh is a product that needs digested. And having passed it through the system time and again, I am still not certain if I am achieving distillation or dilution. There is noise and there is music. There is art and there is violence. There is pain and there is pleasure. And Prosanctus Inferi is all of these.