Profanatica + Rites Of Thy Degringolade + Auroch @ The Audio, Glasgow

 Sunday 4th of March, 2018
Review By: Pete Mutant

This was a tough week for metal in Glasgow -well probably in the whole of the UK- as the country was battered by some freakish Siberian weather which shut down more than one gig. I was booked up and excited to see an absolute smasher of a lineup which Carnifex were headlining but the whole transport system shut down and the gig was thusly cancelled. Diddums. It was a blow but when you have a band such as Profanatica coming a few days later then it is something that could have surely rescued the situation…

The all American blasphemers were fresh off of performing at Netherlands Deathfest which itself was plagued by the issues of the abysmal snow front that shut down the UK but they made it across the channel to play tonight alongside a couple of Canada’s most potent blackened death outfits in Auroch and Rites Of Thy Degringolade. The bands and promoters were kind enough to offer those that could not make it over to Deathfest due to flights being cancelled etc. a nice discount on the door which was a cracking gesture for those who had their dearest death metal dreams shattered by the weather. A real touch of class there.

Having my own travel issues due to the weather, I missed the vast majority of Auroch’s [4/5] set but I did catch the last two songs. It was a frustrating one, but my hands were tied and when I got to the Audio, I was instantly impressed. Guitarist and vocalist Sebastian Montesi was focused and highly active with no frets on the neck of his guitar being left unchecked. ‘Billowing Vervain’ was swift and crushing with great switches in tempo and sheering notes and riffs. Quality death metal and the man Montesi sporting the Morbid Angel tank top was paying great homage to their influence.

The set was ended with ‘Say Nothing’ from 2016’s ‘Mute books’. The atmosphere built through high searching notes and some great lead work and the song broke out with brutal efficacy. The bass was coming through ever so well for Shawn Hache who was also providing the more cavernous vocals. The drums from Zack Chandler compounded the magnificent horror of the music. It was as impactful a song as you would want and served excellently to bring the set to a close.

  1. Noxious Plume
  2. He Wreathes The Cross
  3. Dregs Of Sanity
  4. Death Canonized
  5. The Keeping
  6. Her Bidding
  7. Billowing Vervain
  8. Say Nothing
Next up we had another Canadian outfit in Edmonton’s very own Rites Of Thy Degringolade [4/5] who recently released their fourth full-length album in ‘The Blade Philosophical’.  I hadn’t come across these guys before and this left me in a sound state of blissful unawareness which worked well in my favour as the four-piece blackened death were primed to set an example. It had been twelve years since their last full release and there was a bit of time to make up for. They didn’t waste a second in Glasgow though as they took us back to their previous release before their nine-year hiatus with ‘Of Purist Impurity’ which immediately captured my whole attention and set a high standard.
They drove the music extremely hard with some tremendous blasts remaining as a constant and the notes were rapidly drilled out as well to compound the severity of the sound. Duties on vocals were shared between founding member and drummer Paulus Kressman and long-serving guitarist Jay Wroth with Kressman taking some time out of the set to give an introduction to the songs to come such as the second track ‘Hail Pain’. I nipped off to the loo for a second and could just hear this superbly high pitched wail cut through the walls which was later confirmed as coming from the lungs of our founder and drummer Paulus Kressman. Fantastic.
The triggered blasts were deafening and the riffs were sharp-edged and the music flowed well. We got our first sample of ‘The Blade Philosophical’ in the form of its title track which had plenty on offer in terms of dissonant passages and atmosphere. It was like a meeting point somewhere between 1349 and BÖLZER with a touch of Behemoth and it seemed that it was all going down well for all of those in the venue. Rites Of Thy Degringolade had plenty of technique as well with some far-reaching lead work shared both by Wroth and his counterpart Dylan Atkinson or otherwise known as N.K.L.H. ’Totality’ brought some excellent use of pick sweeps which sheared the air as chaos reigned.
The set rolled on and we got some more songs off the new album such as ‘The Universe In Three Parts’ which slowed the pace but amped up the heaviness with more spacious drums coming in and some excellent bass coming through. They brought the set to an end with ‘Release The Flies’ and we got one final dark poetical intro from our poet laureate for the evening. The sound of flies swarming fills the air as all hell broke loose and some mighty blackened death metal ensued. The cymbals crashed with an almighty thunder and the chunky chords crushed with extreme force. More great shifts and drones to end on a ridiculously heavy note. Terrific stuff all round and we are well set for the headliners tonight.
  1. Of Purist Impurity
  2. Hail Pain
  3. Rites of Thy Degringolade
  4. The Blade Philosophical
  5. Twenty-Six Triumphant Years
  6. Totality
  7. Totality’s Kommand
  8. Totalities Kompletion
  9. The Universe in Three Parts
  10. Sine qua non
  11. Release The Flies

Profanatica [4/5] took the stage, robed and painted underneath the eyes to give an appearance of some hellish monks who were armed with an arsenal of riffs. ‘Jehovah Fading’ kicked us off and we were taken back to the early days straight away. There was great power behind the track which was a short but very sweet introduction to the set. We then went to the band’s first album ‘Profanatitas De Domonatia’ with ‘Unto Us He Is Born’ which brought in the most fantastically devastating riff, it simply just crushed all those in attendance. The tempo could shift at any second as doomier passages were shifted into high gear and riffs just kept on coming. ‘Holy Trinity Done’ was another beast of a track which kept things consistent and the blasphemous roaring metal continues.

We encountered some minor difficulties with the guitar at points but for the main part, everything was going well. For the old-school fans in the venue, it must have been a near perfect set as we kept to a lot of their earlier demos and splits with some venturing into their albums. ‘Fuck The Messiah’ was an absolute cracker, elegant in its simplicity and another well-driven effort. Simplicity was the game but it was all very effective and highly enjoyable. Some of it got a bit repetitive, and the song structures kind of blended in the same, but the impact was still so well constructed when the instruments combined and boomed as all crashed together.

The set was brought to a close with the destructively potent ‘I Arose’ from their 1992 split with Massacre and it was a solid way to end the set. The set really flew by and was not that long overall surprisingly since Rites Of Thy Degringolade got over 50 minutes and we would have been lucky to get that from Profanatica. Maybe it was for the best but it was a solid set with plenty of hooks, force, atmosphere and blasphemy which ticks all the right boxes for Profanatica. There weren’t any controversial antics to speak of so we were just unlucky in this regard tonight, but we did get a solid set which paid great attention to the early principles and music of the band. There was many a happy heretic in the crowd tonight and it certainly helped make up for the disappointment that those suffered due to the recent bad weather; travel and gig cancellations which mired the last couple of weeks. Now onto a busy month for metal in Glasgow.
  1. Jehovah Fading
  2. Unto Us He Is Born
  3. Mocked Scourged and Spit Upon
  4. Holy Trinity Done
  5. Your Crucifixion Your Death
  6. Conceived In Sin
  7. Fuck The Messiah
  8. Heavenly Father
  9. Once Removed Saviour
  10. Weeping In Heaven 
  11. Final Hour Of Christ
  12. Spilling Holy Blood
  13. I Arose