Pseudogod - Deathwomb Catechesis
Hells Headbangers
8 songs (40:44)
Release year: 2012
Pseudogod, Hells Headbangers
Reviewed by Charles
Babies like white noise because it reminds them of the womb, which is full of it, apparently. Consequently, whenever this subject comes up in conversation (as it does increasingly, nowadays), people say to me “Ohohohoho! So, you should just play your baby some of the music you like! Heeheehee!” Certainly, any child of mine will grow up listening to Napalm Death, though the purpose of this will be to familiarise them with quality music at an early age, rather than to help them sleep. But, what about babies from the Deathwomb? Presumably, they like nothing more than to lie in their cots listening to Pseudogod. I guess that makes perfect sense because while this is not quite white noise, there are times when it distinctly resembles an extended rumble of deafening thunder.

Pseudogod, by the way, are cult Russian headbangers, and this is their first full-length album after a few years of splits and demos. Presumably it could therefore be tagged “long-awaited” by some, though to be honest it’s the first time I’ve heard them. Deathwomb Catechesis is easy to summarise: it is virulently Satanic black-death, characterised by long stretches of brutally simplistic riffing. Despite the label referencing Archgoat and Demoncy, which are surely appropriate, the likeness which somehow struck me personally was UK war metal heroes Spearhead’s Theogonia. Not the most obvious match but there's something in the sheer grunting relentlessness of both albums. That said, Deathwomb Catchesis is equipped with a murkier, blacker sound, classic Satanic aesthetics, and absolutely no flashy solos. In fact, Pseudogod is about as flashy as Nunslaughter. The band piles in at full tilt after some brief ambient fluff on opening track Vehement Decimation, with “I.S.K.H”’s vocals serving as morbid starter’s gun. Percussion clatters like an industrial thresher, and the riffs bash away at on some triplet patterns like a blacksmith’s hammer brought down upon the side of your head. Churning and repetitive, like the deathwomb’s ambient noise.

Perhaps mercifully, then, the band also have a penchant for slower tempos, and sour doom riffs are scattered liberally throughout the album. Combined with the deep, throaty vocals, these can be supremely sinister. They constitute the majority of closing track The Triangular Phosphorescence, probably the most effective part of the album, oozing with black atmosphere and crawling horror. More often, they form the hooky interludes between dense, angry blasts. Thus, another favourite of mine is the almost-swinging opening to Antichrist Victory, where lolloping riffs grapple with taut blackened blasting. Reservations are surely that this is a bit too simplistic, and I would choose the new Ignivomous (the other thing I reviewed this week) over it for that reason. Nonetheless, it is a suitably grim, humourless record.

Killing Songs :
The Triangular Phosphorescence, Antichrist Victory, Vehement Decimation
Charles quoted 75 / 100
Alex quoted 75 / 100
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