Finnish blackened death metal outfit Proscription debuts its first full-length album ‘Conduit‘ via Dark Descent Records. After disbanding his former band in 2016, guitarist and vocalist Christbutcher (ex-Maveth) sought to release music under a new name. Proscription continues from where Maveth left off. The virtuous lineup includes Apep on bass guitar, Cruciatus on lead guitars and Mikko Koskinen on drums. Proscription is a logical revival of Maveth‘s legacy. The songs on the album expand over a fierce slab of brutal black/death metal. There has been a lot of anticipation for the return of the Christbutcher, which makes the debut among the most anticipated albums of the year 2020. Proscription provides the obscure standards of a spiteful combination of antediluvian death metal and this is exactly what I was expecting the band to deliver.
‘Conduit‘ begins with a brief intro: ‘Four Wings within the Samiel‘ is somberly orchestrated by the moving melodies of the cello and quickly transitions to the following track. ‘I, The Burning Son‘ is set at the merciless pace of the pounding drums with gigantic riffs erupting like a blackened maelstrom. Proscription’s sonic inferno perfectly fits the cannons of blackened death metal. The massive tone of the crushing drums along with the monstrous growls launch a brutal and relentless force. The Finnish quartet laid down an impenetrable architecture of classic death metal, taking influences from various bands such as Azarath, Behemoth and Sulphur Aeon. While these impacts aren’t necessarily intentional, the songs provide many memorable moments.
A track such as ‘Red Sacrament Black Communion‘ contains massive riffs that run ablaze with fury while the heavy tempos muddle amidst the thunderous discharge of the lead guitars. In this debuting effort Proscription sets a blackened extremity. While few tracks are direct in their approach, the music manifests a clear diversity. The frenzied and viscous elements, injected into the song dynamics, conjure cyclopean tempos that shape the album into a gigantic beast. ‘Conduit‘ is immense and reinvigorating with towering lead guitars showing the mastery of the guitar arrangements.
One of the dominant factors here is the versatility of the songwriting. For example, ‘Radiant Midnight‘ has that blackened feel to it. This mid-tempo track accentuates the demolishing tone of the double bass and oozes with blistering guitar riffs. From the brutal and the imposing opening of ‘Thy Black Nimbus Gate‘ the lead guitars orchestrate a spine-chilling atmosphere of malefic evil. The track builds gradually on the massive scale of the well-crafted guitars. There is a clear interaction between the instruments and the formidable drum beats. Proscription maintains a gloomy atmosphere delivering some of the engrossing songs. Regarding the album production, the mixing adds a grand demonic magnitude.
The consistent barrage of artillery on songs like ‘Voiceless Calling‘ offers a maelstrom of churning riffs. Here the drums take full rotation between the slow tempos and blast beats. The twisted solos recall the early works of Morbid Angel, yet through such particularities the band emphasizes diversity and quality. The seamless amalgamation of the obscure palettes of death metal is achieved by roaring growls and a grizzly performance of the lead guitars. This structural exertion of the members has produced one of the best outcomes of the year. From the very start of the album the band never ceases to conjure an atmosphere of profane menace. Proscription adopts the macabre quality of modern death metal. Hence the latest craft has rightfully brought the band into the category of brutal death metal.
The debut effort is a crossbreed between the modus operandi of U.S., Finnish and Polish death metal and comes close to the likes of Behemoth, Maveth and Nile. At the same time the band has an individual resonance. While listening to the album, I noticed an extraordinary shift in tempo. There is entanglement in the approach of the riffs, which also reflects the complexity of the songwriting. Further on, other elements such as the guitar chugs and the blast beats clearly manifest on ‘Blessed Feast of Black Seth‘. This track brings an infuriating dosage of scorching riffs and immediately transforms into something dark and unnatural. With lead guitars being layered atop the robust drumming patterns, the heavy blasting carries on till the final moments of this track. ‘To Reveal the Words without Words‘ is a mammoth of a song built on epic riffing style whilst the crushing performance of the drums retains the heaviness.
The album title track is charged with dynamics, for which the meticulous bombardment of the drums and the guttural growls inject enough energy. At this demonic summit of might, Proscription sets forth beyond the stereotypes. ‘Conduit‘ is surely a modern masterpiece.
Release Date: September 24th, 2020
Label: Dark Descent Records
- Four Wings Within Samiel
- I, The Burning Son
- Red Sacrament Black Communion
- Radiant Midnight
- Thy Black Nimbus Gate
- Voiceless Calling
- Blessed Feast of Black Seth
- To Reveal the Words Without Words