Progression, or any kind of change really, can be gloriously devastating things…good or bad, depending on how they‘re handled. That’s the catch though. Not everyone knows how to enhance their art from one expression to another and still remain sincere or even good, for lack of a better term. We’ve seen it far too many times. Well-known bands like Metallica and Morbid Angel have all but literally defecated on their own once illustrious and admired works with the release of their more recent material. And unfortunately, they’re not the only ones that have embraced such an embarrassing fork in the road. When this kind of disgrace occurs, most people can’t help but wonder…how authentic and/or true to their convictions were the individuals responsible for such waste in the first place? Granted, sticking to one’s artistic and ideological guns from one record to another, and another, does not always reap the benefits of real growth and sustained/growing fan base. One needs to only take a survey of the careers of AC/DC or Slayer to see what I’m getting at. Sure, those bands have the classic records that will always be mainstays, but they also have at least a few records that are seen as nothing more than filler to many. Which brings me to those that apparently have it in their blood to continuously top themselves every goddamn time. Which brings this review to the subject at hand.
Once again, those multi-instrumentalist demoniacs from Ft. Wayne, Indiana, Ptahil, have willingly let the hounds loose on this pitiful, dying world. Last year, Ptahil unleashed Anti-Flesh Existence, an excursion into satanic gnosticism and the quest for the end of all life. Similar to the infamous Frankenstein monster, the record fused the influence of Darkthrone-like style with that of Venom. With their debut full-length, For His Satanic Majesty’s Glory (Wraith Productions), Mhaghnius (of Typhus and Dethroned fame) and Luathca (ex-Fog/Hordes of the Lunar Eclipse/The Lurking Corpses) have built upon the foundation of Ortus and Anti-Flesh Existence in a manner further cementing, as if it wasn’t blatantly clear on those recordings, the idea that the duo are the real fucking deal and have no difficulty whatsoever in stepping it up a notch or fifty.
Composed and recorded in complete adversarial ritual, For His Satanic Majesty’s Glory shows the true growth of Ptahil’s unholy-as-fuck creative arsenal. Here, Ptahil’s apparent and deadly black metal leanings are surely revisited, but have grown considerably more lethal tentacles of doom and old-school punk/hardcore aggression than before. It could be easily stated that numbers like opener “The Great Satan”, “The Black Fire”, “Lilitu”, “Deathwish”, and the eerie, driving, eight-minute-plus closer, “The Gate to the Kliphotic Anti-World” (distorted chants and all), are all most definitely highlights, but this entire record forbids that you stop to catch your breath. The meshing of unforgiving, blackened harshness with an almost thrashy, fist-banging punk attitude is definitely a positive throughout and there isn‘t a dull moment to be found on this beast, so beware!
All of that being said, what I’m getting at here is: if you’ve been a keeping an eye on Ptahil from the start, be prepared for a violently blissful ascension toward their goal of annihilation. If you’re new to the honestly merciless art these guys create, then I can only wonder why the hell you’ve been sleeping on it for so long. Whatever the situation, do yourself a favor and participate…for his majesty’s glory!!