Are you ready to have your skull caved in? Kind of a weird question to ask, I know, but if you’re a death metal fan then you’re probably always down for a little cranial crushing if the mood is right. Well, it’s a Friday and the mood is more than right if you’ve picked up the new release from Angerot, The Profound Recreant. Just be careful, too many spins of this new mighty beast and you might not have much of a noggin left to enjoy your weekend with.
I’ve always dug Angerot. They’re one of the better bands in the current OSDM revival and one that doesn’t feel like they’re just trying to copy classic bands. It might be the blackened edge they throw on the compositions or it might just be that they’re damn effective songwriters, but Angerot’s first two records, 2018’s The Splendid Iniquity and 2020’s The Divine Apostate, are both killer slices of old school death metal so I was pretty excited to start their third full-length. It didn’t take too long into my first listen to come to the conclusion that these guys have massively upped their already impressive game here on what is, to me, their strongest record.
Chanting opener “Das Salz” sets the stage for the absolutely punishing “They Shall Take Up Serpents,” the lead single from the record. All you need to know about what the next chunk of your listening life is going to be like is present on that second track, from the buzzy, chainsaw guitar tone to the big ass riffs that are going to take up a lot of real estate in your head for some time to come. Vocalist Chad Petit has a Hell of a deep growl that he makes the most of on every song here. Seriously, between his demonic bellows and the sturdy bass playing of Bill Zaugg, your stereo system is going to get a real workout on the low end.
The chanting returns in the intro to the third track, “Grand Feast ov the Flesh,” which features a ridiculously executed solo from the one-and-only Andy LaRocque (does he know any other kind?). Besides LaRocque, The Profound Recreant continues the Angerot theme of featuring a ton of their colleagues from across the spectrum of extreme metal. Morbid Angel’s Steve Tucker puts some of his trademark Satanic yells on “In the Company ov Wolves” and Baest’s Simon Olsen adds his vocal talents to “Horns ov Moses.” Sammy Duet, of Goatwore and Acid Bath fame, lends his axe skills to “Bastard Creature,” my favorite track from the record. It’s an impressive guest list and one that feels authentic. These aren’t just random features put on to drum up interest in the band, they clearly have been chosen for the tracks that they would fit best on and it both adds to the tracks and displays some of the unity and appreciation that exists between the best of the best in extreme metal.
From a songwriting standpoint, The Profound Recreant is unrelenting. Huge riffs that build on each other are married to blasphemous lyrics delivered with unyielding fury over the steady drumming of Matt Johnson, who the band parted ways with after recording the record. Although the album never really lets up, it’s not a one-note release either. The title track begins with an ominous piano piece that sets an atmospheric tone from the start, one that only builds once Pettit and Jason Ellsworth’s guitars kick in.
The album even closes with a really pretty acoustic track sung in German to match the opener. If you think it’s odd to read a description of an Angerot song as pretty, well, it was also odd to write it but it’s a nice, mellow way to close the record after spending the previous 30-plus minutes blasting horror and blasphemy at you. I can’t imagine that too many death metal bands would choose to close an album that way but it’s a nice callback to the opener and a good reminder that Angerot is not like most other death metal bands. Though they may make use of a ton of death metal’s most treasured conventions and traits, Angerot does it in a way that is completely them and, on The Profound Recreant, they are doing it at a whole other level than they have before.
Final Verdict: 4/5
Photo at top: The Profound Recreant album cover.