TRIBE OF PAZUZU – Blasphemous Prophecies (Album Review)

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Tribe of Pazuzu is an aural beast almost as mystifying as the ancient demon of its name. This is an act that fits seamlessly within the old-school death metal movement, but has only just brought its debut album to life in 2023. This enigmatic trio has resisted the calls for slow- and mid-tempo extremity and instead given in to the unrelenting demands of fast-paced, shred-driven death metal. “Blasphemous Prophecies” is an album full of fire, desire, and ambition. It sticks close to death metal tenets while pushing the boundaries of patience for sonic punishment. And by coincidence, it is also overflowing with an abundance of blasphemous prophecies.

Tribe of Pazuzu began its life with two great gasps of air, its EPs “Heretical Uprising” (2019) and “King of All Demons” (2020). These were received with fanatical acclaim and desperate pleas for something more substantial, and fans have since begged for the elusive full-length album. Three years after “King of All Demons,” Tribe of Pazuzu answered these cries and released their full-length debut, “Blasphemous Prophecies.” And just as with their EPs, this album is an onslaught of unforgiving and technically accomplished death metal of the highest order.

The vision that guides the ever-present darkness of this project comes from frontman Nick Sagias. Sagias serves as both the vocalist and the bassist for Tribe of Pazuzu, in addition to being the project’s longtime creative lead. Rounding out the trio is guitarist Randy Harris and drummer Flo Mounier. The first two Eps also featured guitarist John McEntee (Incantation), who was unable to join the band in the writing and recording of “Blasphemous Prophecies.” Despite the absence of an otherwise founding member, Tribe of Pazuzu have flourished with this latest outing, and they have done so by embracing a stylistic flair that calls upon the very cornerstones of death metal. “Blasphemous Prophecies” is not an album for the death-metal-hesitant, or those less reverent disciples of the extreme. This is a 30-minute onslaught that carries with it both the dreadful and the eldritch, the raw edge of shadows swallowing it whole. This is an exaltation of darkness that asks for only the most dedicated to embrace it.

We Serve Under No God” is an opening track that leads with an absolutely irresistible hook. The riffs are complex enough to draw the listener’s attention, but abrasive enough to demand immediate respect. As “We Serve Under No God” bleeds into title track “Blasphemous Prophecies,” this much becomes clear: Tribe of Pazuzu may be introducing their debut album, but these musicians are not newcomers to the scene. Each artist involved has been affiliated with at least three other extreme metal acts past and present. They demonstrate a sincere appreciation for and understanding of the genre, and that shows in every note of this album. The dissonance of “Blasphemous Prophecies” is expertly curated, a steel-cut touch of static against a soft fog of echoes, the sinister notes dissolved against thorn-laden wool. Meanwhile, “Invocation of the Ancients” shows command over tempo as it flexes effortlessly from merely fast to the purely frenetic, with Harris leading at the helm.

‘Blasphemous Prophecies’ Artwork

Some may find the unending up-tempo sonic assault monotonous. But Tribe of Pazuzu makes no false impressions or claims as to its potential variety. “Countess of Blood” is an abrasive onslaught of percussion and screams, and it sports one of the most thrilling solos of the album. “Born a Jackal” carries just as much spirit as the first half of the album without slowing down.

Blasphemous Prophecies” has lost much of the variety and experimentation that contoured its initial EPs, but that’s not a criticism. Rather, this album is a beautiful display of a band coming into its own, committing to a sound and making the most of its talents within those boundaries.

The more subtle brand of variety evolves within the multiple guest features on the album. This includes Jorgen Sandstrom (ex-Grave, ex-Entombed) providing guest vocals on “The Trial and Prosecution of the Scorned Prophet,” and Christian Donaldson (Cryptopsy) who has a guest solo on “The Trial And Prosecution of the Scorned Prophet” and “Pazuzu Incarnate.” Adding additional dimensions to this body of work makes “Blasphemous Prophecies” all the more enticing. The variety of talent that shapes this album, and the competency with which that talent is displayed, makes Tribe of Pazuzu an instant classic.

Blasphemous Prophecies” is direct, compact, and a non-stop thrill ride through an ominous twilight. It may not be the most inventive or imaginative work to come out of the scene, but it does not shy away from its own truth, and instead embraces that foundation to further elevate its greatness. These stories are worth telling and they are deserving of exploration through the lens of Sagias’ screams. A grand step taken towards what will hopefully be a fruitful career, “Blasphemous Prophecies” is worth the ear of any extreme metal fan.

Release Date: March 6th, 2022
Record Label: Independent
Genre: Black Metal

Musicians:

  • Nick Sagias / Vocals, Bass
  • Randy Harris / Guitar
  • Flo Mounier / Drums

“Blasphemous Prophecies” Track-list:

  1. We Serve Under No God
  2. Blasphemous Prophecies
  3. Countess of Blood
  4. Invocation of the Ancients
  5. The Trial and Prosecution of the Scorned Prophet
  6. Pazuzu Incarnate
  7. Born of a Jackal
  8. Towards Oppressors

Order “Blasphemous Prophecies” HERE


8.5 Excellent

Tribe of Pazuzu has burst onto the scene with all the hallmarks of an instant classic, and it has the musicianship and songwriting talent to back it up. The cloaks of darkness have rarely burned so bright as within “Blasphemous Prophecies,” and any extreme metal fan would do well to take note of this debut album

  • Songwriting 7
  • Musicianship 9
  • Originality 9
  • Production 9
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