Review: Venereal Baptism – Deviant Castigation Liturgy

dclWritten by the Black Metal Bitch

Almost every day for the past few weeks I’ve been turning on my television only to find another protest or “peaceful” gathering of college students burning down buildings, attacking innocent bystanders, hurling rocks at windows or smashing up cars and terrorizing local businesses, so it’s always a wonderful thing when I can just hit mute and focus my attention to something worthwhile and meaningful. For me, that usually means kicking back with some blasphemous extreme metal.

Today I’ll be reviewing an album which could very well make my top ten list at the end of the year and from a band who has, until now, been totally off my radar. Deviant Castigation Liturgy is the premier full length from South Texas brutalizers Venereal Baptism and this one is not to be missed or passed over for any reason because, quite frankly, it absolutely fucking kills.

Hailing from Laredo, Texas, a town just east of the Mexican border, the band has rounded out its roster with some very talented musicians. A few of these guys happen to belong to other projects including San Antonio death metal veterans Morgengrau, Plutonian Shore, Hod and a long list of others, so you know these guys know a thing or two when it comes to creating heavy music.

Formed in 2014 the band took their time releasing their first extended play Progenitor of All Aberrations, which dropped last year which makes Liturgy the band’s very first full length and after the first track I must admit I was ecstatic and an instant fan. The unholy union of black and death metal is nothing new, but Venereal have done a fine job using their technical influences to make the black as powerful and destructive as possible; this one is a winner and metal-heads who call Baphomets Horns, Deicide, Vital Remains or Black Witchery their favorites will definitely embrace this beast from the Lone Star State.

Opening the album, after the obligatory minute long creepy intro, is ‘Lecherous Immersion Sacrament + Centuries of Wrath” which pretty much sets the tone for album. It’s pure violence. With its down-tuned, buzz-saw guitars, thunderous double bass it’s a black metal wrecking ball, but what hits me immediately is lead singer D.H. with that savage, signature growl which instantly reminds me of Glen Benton of Deicide – it’s crisp, clear and audible yet retains the necessary level of ferocity. The music itself is fast and punishing and every instrument is refreshingly identifiable instead of one noisy mess.

‘Impure and Perpetual’ opens up with a brief solo and very quickly dives into the first verse where D.H. takes the reins and unleashes like a man possessed by Satan himself, while Warblast assaults the drum kit displaying a ton of range with his superior skills utilizing impressive fills and breakneck speed tempo changes. In contrast to a lot of bands of the black metal genre, this crew has no problem adding guitar solos and at times they incorporate a very grindcore element; whether or not that raw energy is outside the realm of “true kvlt” is up for debate but the bottom line is simple, but it’s utterly vicious and unrelenting.

‘Victorious!’ kicks off with a lightning fast guitar solo before launching into all out war. It’s intensely fast and the low-end guitar shreds throughout the three minute track while the lyrics, which are clear as day, spew Satanic might amidst the constant change-ups which flow together perfectly in one never ending headbanging session. After some sampled screaming and some sludgy guitar riffs at the open of ‘The Winds of Nullification’ the band grinds out one of my favorite tracks of the album. Venereal Baptism prove more than capable of breaking up the pace with this bottom heavy groove that reminds me a bit of Demoncy. It’s incredibly evil and just crushing which leads me to believe the pits at live shows must be as terrifying as they are explosive.

I’m genuinely giddy as the album continues, ‘A Grand Liberation’ is another high energy, turbo charged monster full of military war drums and anti-human animosity driven by guitar riffs that fluctuate between simple but effective and total insanity. Fermentor unloads another rabid, howling solo towards the back end of the track but for the most part this one is jam packed with Norwegian and more traditional influences.

‘Gothrapemachine’ is an extremely graphic, Black/Grind nightmare which may not win over the sensitive types. It’s only a minute and a half long song but with the violent, sexually charged lyrics it’s enough to provoke feminists everywhere.

The final track of the album is ‘Death March of Glory,’ which feels like a declaration of war against modern civilization. It opens with blistering speed with machine gun snare drum and mind numbing riffs in typical fashion but come crashing to a sinister crawl. What I absolutely love about Venereal Baptism is they are anything but boring or generic and the breakdowns and the way they structure their music definitely adds to the final product. “Death March” rises once again and explodes in another chaotic climax bringing this masterpiece to a close.

Well if you haven’t picked up on it, I absolutely can’t say enough good things about this one and I think fans of brutal, Satanic metal will agree. Each song is its own entity and Venereal Baptism, at no point in time throughout the album, sounds repetitive, boring or recycled. While they haven’t reinvented the genre, they’ve definitely raised the bar and I would have to attribute that claim to the fact they’ve ignored some of the unwritten rules when it comes to black metal in particular the production is good and they make use of solos. The largest contributing factor in giving Venereal Baptism their very unique sound is D.H. with his very death metal vocal style. Not only does it dominate each track, but he also delivers in a way that more mainstream metal bands do – his voice isn’t just a background instrument like a lot of bands in the underground, it drives the songs, it connects everything and it’s simply ruthless. Deviant Castigation Liturgy fires on all cylinders. Do not miss this one. 9/10

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