• BLASPHEMY - Gods Of War CD
Ask your average Vancouver metalhead to list the progenitors of black metal—a movement to restore evil and brutality to the genre—and they’ll probably start in 1980s Scandinavia, with bands like Bathory and Mayhem. They might name-check England’s Venom. But they probably won’t mention Blasphemy, which came together in Vancouver back in 1984, around the time that Mayhem was just getting started.
At that time, Blasphemy’s singer Gerry Buhl, who performs under the name Nocturnal Grave Desecrater and Black Winds (or Black Winds for short), was a teen. His musical tastes involved “basically, anything I could get my hands on that was really fuckin’ brutal”. That ranged from punk like Discharge and GBH to the early demo tapes of Flint, Michigan, grindcore innovators Repulsion, known at the time as Genocide.
The band released a demo titled Blood Upon the Altar in 1989 and their debut album, Fallen Angel of Doom, the following year through Wild Rags, a record label they had signed to while touring the United States. Their second full-length studio album was the 1993 Gods of War released through Osmose Productions. In 1993, Blasphemy toured through Europe with Immortal and Rotting Christ.
Sometimes overshadowed by the masterful Fallen Angel of Doom LP, Blasphemy’s second and final album, Gods of War, is no less a masterpiece. The immediate force of the Gods of War album is undeniable. At just over 20 minutes in length, it is as succinct and powerful a statement as any Black Metal. On prominent display are the band’s Grindcore influences, with several of the tracks clocking in at under one minute. The album also features re-recordings of four tracks from the Blood Upon the Altar demo, this time with fuller production. Overall, Gods of War features the most aggressive performances and the heaviest sound of Blasphemy’s studio output.