Originally released at the tail-end of 2008, Profano Ad Regnum has gotten a limited-edition re-release on vinyl some eight months later. Normally, I’m indifferent towards vinyl re-releases (or vinyl releases, period), but given the production on hand, these dark and filthy tones, the warmth and the crackle of vinyl seem perfectly suited to Profano.
Father Befouled‘s guitarist / vocalist / mainstay Ghoat was formerly the sole member of Valdosta, Georgia-based black metal unit Hills Of Sefiroth, as well as the sole member of Winds Of Old and half of Atlanta’s Lilitu, while newcomer bassist J. Kohn has ties to Ohio death metallers Vomitrocity and the black / death of Prosanctus Inferi. So these guys definitely have their share of vicious, anti-Christian projects, and Father Befouled fits both of those descriptors, with the difference between this and those being that the medium here is vintage death with a hearty dash of noxious doomy riffage. The obvious comparison is Incantation, since Profano follows that band’s seminal Onward To Golgotha in both style and production. Like Incantation, this is classic death metal, with tremolo-picked evil riffs and blast beats, but with plenty of slow and evil twists, squealing guitar bits atop plodding tempos. (Check out the bass guitar on the 9/8 riff in opening track “Chapel Of Sores” for some truly killer wickedness—it almost sounds like the low end of a piano doubling the riff.) Ghoat’s vocals are Craig Pillard lows, both low in pitch and low in the mix itself, swallowed and muddy. And like Onward, the whole affair is produced low and murky, dank and dark and filthy and dirty, as though the record was stuffed underground for a decade and emerged covered in dirt and dripping something viscous and vile. The only negative on hand is that Father Befouled are simply too sloppy—not hugely and deal-breakingly so, but just enough to rob Profano of power that it could’ve had were it tighter, more precise and thus more punishing.
Appended to the end of this EP are two live rehearsal tracks, one of “Chapel Of Sores” and one of “Idolatry Of Cursed Revelation” from the band’s previous full-length Obscurus Nex Cultus, and while neither are particularly amazing, their presence doesn’t detract from the album’s ragged gut-level power. I’ve always held Onward To Golgotha as one of the greatest death metal albums ever made, so a band that pays homage to that seminal disc’s greatness is fine and dandy with me.
All ye fans of Incantation: even with their technical shortcomings, Father Befouled is right up your dark and doomy alley, for sure, and in truth, all fans of old-school Christ-bashing death metal should be well pleased with Profano. This isn’t groundbreaking, isn’t perfect, but it’s enough to keep my eyes on these heathens ferdamnsure.