Since Venom’s Welcome To Hell, bands of the metal persuasion have been sending listeners off on adventures into various interpretations of the underworld. As extreme metal evolved, so did the landscapes it portrayed. Hell went from a fun-filled rock’n’roll party to a torturous underworld. Vancouver, British Columbia’s Ceremonial Bloodbath perform auditory rituals of blackened death that convey a certain wretchedness in their hellscapes. Maintaining the violent primitivism of Blasphemy, Sarcófago, and Archgoat and mixing it with the modern black / death production of Vassafor and Teitanblood, Ceremonial Bloodbath further twist the affair with unexpected flair in the harnessing of the noisier, chaotic side of death metal from hell. Today, Last Rites has the privilege of premiering a track off of Ceremonial Bloodbath’s debut album, one that not only casts the listener into the fiery underworld, but straight down the gullet of one of its more prominent denizens.
The riff shifts to a more urgent crescendo before a final, extended pinch harmonic dives the song into the esophagus. The tempo slows just a bit, but retains its bludgeoning power quickly as Belial’s throat muscles spasm to force the sustenance further down in its approach to the gut of the behemoth. The hellish inferno of demoniac digestive acid creeps near with a wailing solo, coated deep within the thick, sluggish claustrophobic sound of the band. The stomach churns as the band locks into a groove—the first real reprieve from the clobbering the rhythm section has been dishing out from within the first fifteen seconds of the song. Before the hammering resumes, the intensity doubles as the guitars meet for the climax of the track, pushing the consumed morsel of the song straight past the intestines and out of the demonic hellscape of Belial’s unholy anus. It’s an apt conclusion that can only lead to more diabolical misadventure as the album progresses.
The Tides Of Blood is shaping up to deliver on the band’s excellent 2017 demo, Command Sacrifice. With an even more ungodly assault on the senses than the previous incarnation of the song found on said demo, Ceremonial Bloodbath are one to watch if you prefer your death metal visceral, relentless, and charred by the blackened fires of Hades.