Review 1883 : Profanatica – Crux Simplex – English

It’s time to blaspheme again with Profanatica.

Formed by Paul Ledney (drums/vocals, Havohej, ex-Toten, ex-Incantation) in the USA in 1990, the band released four demos, an EP and a split before ceasing activity in 1992, and finally being reborn in 2001. In 2023, accompanied by Adam Besserer (guitar, ex-Disfigurement) and Pat Davies (bass, Hellgoat, Vimur, ex-Disfigurement), the band announced the release of Crux Simplex on Season of Mist Underground Activists.

The album opens with Condemned to Unholy Death, a track with an increasingly heavy atmosphere which finally lets a blend of visceral unhealthy Black Death Metal strike in one fell swoop. The raucous screams perfectly combine with the aggressive Old School rhythm, which slows down slightly to let Take Up the Cross take over, before accelerating again to lay down some fairly heavy, raw sounds, occasionally welcoming sharp leads. The First Fall continues with this effective approach, drawing its most vivid elements from devastating high-energy roots that even carry us over to Thrash influences, as with Meeting of a Whore, where the massive blast punctuates the composition while letting the vocal parts tint it with ungodliness. The musicians slow down again with Compelled by Romans, which lets its impressive riffs strengthen the oppression, even allowing themselves a short wilder section, then Wipe the Fucking Face of Jesus returns to hostile Death Metal influences to offer a much faster, catchier sound, leading us to The Second Fall, which follows a relatively similar dynamic. The most vivid elements are sure to be the most effective at the band’s shows, and they can also count on Cunts of Jerusalem to offer bursts of energy while keeping a chaotic heaviness, before slowly fading out, only to explode again with The Third Fall. Whether the first part of the track is rather stirring, the riffs slow down and become considerably heavier, returning to speed only towards the end, which runs at Division of Robes to close the album in the same dark, hellish tones as it began, with increasingly slower stages.

Profanatica continues to rev up, as Crux Simplex is just one unhealthy example of its unholy strength. Whether the riffs are fast and aggressive or slow and heavy, the band blends all its influences to bring its dark chaos to life.


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