Judaswiege - Ashes of the Heretic
Godz Ov War Productions
Blackened Thrash
7 songs (21' 10")
Release year: 2018
Reviewed by Andy

The oddly-named Judaswiege ("wiege" translates as "cradle" or "crib" in German), hailing from Barcelona, brings their blackened thrash to the world in their first EP, Ashes of the Heretic. Suitably for being a band from Spain, the subject of their songs is the Inquisition. From the outset of the album, it's clear that the duo behind the project, Obszen and Dis, are fans of the raw early stages of second-wave black metal. What's not as clear is how much of Ashes of the Heretic is the following of black metal tradition, and how much is just the inability to do any better.

All the hallmarks of early black metal are there -- lo-fi production, anti-Christian lyrics, short and thrash-dominated tunes with Dis's raw voice shrieking the lyrics. But there is a strangely hesitant feel in the whole production, as if this is not a finished EP but another demo, slapped together out of successful garage jam sessions. And maybe it is; Obszen's the only instrumentalist, and he's pushed to the limits in trying to get his rhythm guitar, his bass, his lead solos, and his drums all aligned on the band's low-budget mix, so everything seems a half-or-quarter-step out of rhythm. The lyrics, a repeating set of a few phrases per song, don't dig the songwriting out of the hole it's in, either. That said, I can see some promising signs in some of the things the pair do. The Metallica-style guitar-duel soloing on The Executioner, though disjointed, would be strong if it was tightened up with a better mixing job, and The Mass Grave's riffs, especially those of the last half of the song, are quite good as well; it's not their fault that they're hamstrung by the song's haphazard structure.

Unfortunately, a few good ideas don't redeem the overall mediocrity of Ashes of the Heretic. It always pains me to pan a relatively new band's debut, but the fact is that Judaswiege's debut simply isn't that enjoyable. I don't see even the staunchest BM traditionalist giving it more than a single spin.

Bandcamp: https://godzovwarproductions.bandcamp.com/album/ashes-of-the-heretic.

Killing Songs :
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