Two years after their debut full-length Texas’ Venereal Baptism has returned with their sophomore effort Repugnant Beast of the Coronation, ready once again to lay waste to everything in their path with their violent and barbaric style of black/death metal. Its predecessor turned some heads back in 2017 thanks to its razor sharp riffing and nonstop attack and the core duo of Adversor and Fermentor has continued to refine this formula following some lineup shifts. Though it may not drastically differ from what the band has had to offer since their inception, the writing remains as violent and warlike as before and that proves to be just as appealing.
If this is your first time listening to Venereal Baptism they serve up unrelenting riffs and a warlike cadence that takes equal amounts of influence from black metal and death metal. When the group is at their fastest and most intense levels they’re reminiscent of Angelcorpse, and there’s a similar level of precision and polish to the playing that elevates these guys above some of the others going for the same type of sound. Each note feels like it’s been deliberately written to cause maximum destruction and the overall tonality skews towards the bottom end with the guitars coming through with some of that Swedish death metal buzzsaw sound. Although the tempo sticks with the fast and furious approach there are nuances to many of the songs that help keep them from sounding exactly the same, with “Unfuckable Pacifist Gutterslut” pulling in just a little bit of D-beat and grind influence to shake things up. As abrasive as this material can be Venereal Baptism continues to have a knack for leads and you’ll find that some of them get stuck in your head quite easily, beckoning you to return for one lashing after the next.
One of the biggest changes between Repugnant Beast of the Coronation is the vocals, as Fermentor has taken over the position instead of just contributing backups. It’s a fairly big shift as his growls are so low and hellish that they grab your attention right from the beginning and don’t let go until the album has come to an end. Seeing as the instrumentals are just as bottom heavy this gives the material so much brute force that it can be overwhelming, and the performance never wavers in intensity. While shifts in vocals can sometimes derail established bands it only seems to have worked in Venereal Baptism’s favor as the growls are as grotesque and inhuman sounding as one could possibly want from this genre.
The overall style and writing approach remains similar to the debut, but Veneral Baptism has taken everything to the next level. It’s an absolutely crushing album from start to finish and despite the similarities in tempos the leads make the songs distinguishable and find ways to get under your skin. Anyone with an interest in the more barbaric and warlike side of black and death metal should find this album to be a worthy listen in this fairly crowded year. Repugnant Beast of the Coronation is available from Osmose Productions.
-Review by Chris Dahlberg
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