Inn Of The Vaticide
Review by Fernando on June 7, 2023.
Amidst all the revivals and trends going in extreme metal at the moment, alongside several off-kilter bands, the US scene seems to be striving to reclaim or develop their own sound and aesthetic, without copying or being a backlash to the European scenes and sounds, and one such case is Black Eucharist, and their blasphemous debut Inn Of The Vaticide, released through Stygian Black Hand.
Black Eucharist (originally named Black Ejaculate) plays very blasphemous and sacrilegious black metal in the old school American style from pioneers like Profanatica, Masochist, Von and Demoncy, meaning that the band’s style is very aggressive and with an emphasis on being sonically crushing, and like those bands, there’s a clear raw and dissonant death metal influence, that hearkens to the sound of the aforementioned Profanatica, but to Black Eucharist’s credit, they successfully give this old school sound their own spin, and also modernize it.
One of the most significant areas where the band truly modernized the early USBM sound is with the production. This album sounds clean and slick, and the band does a good job to not over-polish the sound, as the performances are truly enhanced by the clear sound, in fact everything sounds crisp. The guitar riffs sound crushing and piercing, the bass is very forceful and overwhelming, and every single beat, cymbal and especially the snare pop, and on top of that, the vocals are appropriately dry and demented. Overall, this is one of the few black metal albums that make really good use and take advantage of good production, and without the music sounding insipid or sterile. Although the very clean production does emphasize the band’s death metal leanings a tad, this is mostly because most death metal has this kind of production, and a lot of black metal bands don’t pull off this level of polish as well as Black Eucharist did here.
Performance wise, the band is also very adept, and in keeping with the USBM tradition. Black Eucharist is very skilled at their instruments, but don’t over do it, nor do they compensate, every instrument is played just right and the band jell well together as a unit. The biggest standout here is of course the guitar riffs, courtesy of band co-founder Infestor, his riffs are equal parts crunchy and dynamic, not only does he do a good job of switching between speed and groove, but he also adds those dissonant chords that complement the blasphemous atmosphere the band is gunning for, and the same can be said of the drumming and the bass of Shemhamforash and Gravepisser respectively. And Infestor also does the vocals and he also does very well, his growls are appropriately dry and searing, which fits well with the rest of the music.
Another aspect worth highlighting is how the band despite playing very ferocious black metal also did a good job at creating a wretched and sacrilegious atmosphere, using samples, ambiance, some keys and noise. The band perfectly captures the sound of pure, depraved blasphemy, and while many would roll their eyes and yet another black metal band bashing Christ, considering a lot of news about religion today, especial the Christian Conservatives, I’ll just say we kinda need to have blasphemous hoodlums pissing on rosaries and crucifixes, but I digress. That being said, and while this is a worthwhile and very well executed slab of black metal, I do have to recognize that the band aren’t reinventing the wheel or do something truly outstanding. That isn’t to devalue their skills at all, but beyond giving this style of old school USBM a modern twist, this is still just a black metal a record, again, a really good black metal record, and an admirable debut, but that’s about it. If anything I respect how they managed to present such strong qualities in a debut, so this is still an album worth spinning, especially if you’re already tired of “old school death metal” and would like something with more bite and edge.
Overall, the debut of Black Eucharist is a really solid display of classic USBM for the modern world, and would absolutely slay on a live setting, maybe even tour with mighty Profanatica or even Archgoat.
Best tracks: ‘Black Ejaculate’, ‘Drowned Flock’, ‘Inn Of The Vaticide’, ‘Ziziphus Paliurus’
Rating: 7.5 out of 10723