Pseudogod – Sepulchral Chants [Vinyl] (2018) REVIEW

Pseudogod formed shortly after the dissolution of demo only black metal project Groth and were eventually joined by the rhythm section of Russian death metal band Act of God. The band is best known for their 2012 album ‘Deathwomb Catechesis’ that sharply fused elements of war metal, occult black metal and pure death metal into one extremely memorable release. This compilation collects demo, split, and EP releases up to 2015 and includes some rehearsals all in relatively chronological order. Though it was released back in 2015 on CD, it is now available on vinyl and digital release. You might not get why I’d even bother with compilations most of the time and I generally don’t unless it offers a clear and respectful portrayal of a band’s development. In this case ‘Sepulchral Chants’ shows a grand progression towards ‘Deathwomb Catechesis’, which I highly recommend for additional listening.

The first demo from Pseudogod ‘Illusion of Salvation’ in 2006 is a rough and rawly shredded pair of war metal tracks that showcase little more than primally blasted intent. For their 2008 split CD with Blaze of Perdition the band resembled something closer to occult black/death metal and the reworking of “Illusion of Salvation” from their demo shows that basic track evolving into something far more complex. The following tracks from the four-way split ‘Four Wings of Blasphemy and Abomination’ in 2010 are slightly more raw, cranking up some of the war metal aspects of their sound. This would later be released as ‘Pharynxes in Hell’ EP in 2014 with an Antaeus cover tacked on.

The real spirt of later Pseudogod starts to shine through most on “Azazel” which was from the reissue of their first split where the B-side also included a Beherit cover. “Muerte” likewise offers something close to ‘Deathwomb Catechesis’ with a track taken from their 2011 split 7″ with the comparable Morbosidad. The rehearsal tracks are a nice extra and serve as a window into their rehearsals seven years apart. It is a shame that Pseudogod have been hesitant to crank out much material since 2012 as it really felt like they’d found an exceptional sound by the time it released and even the residuals that make up this compilation are worthwhile as additional listening.

I won’t suggest listening to this until/unless you listen to ‘Deathwomb Catechesis’ additionally. And if you’re on the fence about combinations of war metal and occult death metal I think “Azazel” should be able to swing you either way. Their first split CD is probably my favorite stuff from this compilation overall and it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to jump into tracks 3 through 5 to start. It is a great wonder that the band haven’t released anything new since 2012 as we sorely need a follow up. I’d generally recommend the vinyl gatefold issue to death/black/war metal collectors.

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Artist Pseudogod
Type Compilation
Released July 6, 2015 [CD] | May 1, 2018 [12″ Vinyl]
BUY/LISTEN on Nuclear War Now!’s Bandcamp! Follow Pseudogod on Facebook
Genres

Behold these tyrant’s wrath. 3.5/5.0

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