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Descendants Of Evil

Poland Country of Origin: Poland

1. Baneful Benediction
2. Horror Vacui
3. Jaldabaoth's Breath
4. Unholy Follows
5. Malicious Holiness
6. Annunciation
7. Descendants Of Evil
8. Prolegomenon

Review by Vladimir on July 16, 2024.

When it comes to extreme metal albums, a lot of the time you would hope that some of them might seem scary and brutal, yet for the most part you end up finding something so boring, monotone and generally uninteresting. Sure, there are some dark and atmospheric classics like The Ruins of Beverast with Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite that really is everlasting in quality, but with this deep ocean of bands you will almost never find something so unsettling and demonic. However, there is one exceptional example that came to me like a bolt out of the blue, and left me quite surprised with its final result. The polish blackened death metal band Upon The Altar are returning with their second full-length album Descendants Of Evil, which is due to be released on July 19th, 2024 via Godz ov War Productions. If you dare to take your time and stick around for this one, you will soon find out what lies beyond the unknown.

As the 'Baneful Benediction' starts off, the three-headed hydra is instantly unleashing its pandemonium onto the world with the powers of the demonic tremolo picking riffs, blast beats and harsh shouting vocals, filled with sickness, horror and darkness. Even greater terrors of the deep black emerge with 'Horror Vacui', spreading its demonic gospel throughout the disharmonic wickedness of Upon The Altar's music, showcasing that this album gradually becomes darker, more violent and more extreme, with a thousand voices crying out in agony from the terror of the great beast. From the very get-go, this album already had a solid start by presenting itself as the eldritch abomination that it is, however the further it progresses with each track, it evolves into something much more menacing that will surely conquer the world of the living by the end of its evolution cycle. This is truly one of those examples of "the deeper you go, the creepier it gets", because the vile riffs further elevate the demonic atmosphere that surrounds Descendants Of Evil, showcasing that it definitely has an unsettling and horrifying black aura around it, giving out the vibe of witnessing a literal ritual of summoning unspeakable monstrosities that dwell in the underworld. There is one particular example, that being the fifth track 'Malicious Holiness' which includes some scary throat-singing chanting in the background, blending nicely with the blackened death metal output that in itself is like a moment of the great beast's ascension. It's a seldom seen or heard nowadays when a black or death metal band puts out something truly terrifying and intense to listen to, yet in the case of Upon The Altar, they basically didn't hold back to give extra edges to this headbanger of an album, with musical suspense and primitive musicianship building such a strong foundation, transforming itself into a forbidden relic that could literally drive insane the longer you stay in that realm, possibly bleeding through your nostrils or from your eye sockets. The nature of this album is so godless with its frequent delivery of relentless serenades in flesh and blood, but the fact that it's stylistically consistent all the way through, yet never uninteresting, is perhaps its strongest quality, because even halfway through it still feels like from the very beginning. By the time you reach the closing track 'Prolegomenon', it pretty much says directly that the great beast has reached its final form and that the end is nigh, giving a great sense of closure to this Lovecraftian and hellish chapter.

Songwriting-wise, it is structurally very simplistic and straightforward which is traditional with most blackened death metal bands, but it still has plenty of tempo changes and a variety of ideas that were well put together, so it still manages to be slightly dynamic. The output is incredibly strong and powerful throughout the entire album, and the great thing is that it never fails on the delivery or that it never loses its charm, always maintaining that same level of heaviness. It may sound far-fetched and unhinged of me to say such a thing, but personally speaking, with an album such as this, Upon The Altar practically put bands such as Belphegor and Hate to shame, because their work here is so effective and well executed from start to finish, especially with the dreadful atmosphere that further compliments their musicianship. I rarely see any extreme metal band create something that can truly affect you psychologically by creating these scary scenarios in your head, because many bands in this subgenre branch rely too much on musical aggression and satanic lyrics which come nowhere near as close to Descendants Of Evil, so I guess you can consider it a one-of-a-kind album. I think that one of the biggest contributors to the quality of this album is the production with a lot of cave reverb, with its raw and crunchy sound that nicely brings out the intensity of the riffs.

In the end, Descendants Of Evil is one violent and menacing beast of an album that should definitely be checked out by anyone who is on the lookout for something extreme and terrifying. I can't really say anything else about this album other than the fact that I enjoyed it and that I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of musical eldritch horrors.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10