The Black/Death genre has seen a serious uptick in the number of bands in recent years and the quality of output has been varied. A fan reaches one of those inflection points in life where he is bombarded with tons of releases and then he/she suddenly realizes that a reality check is in order. The realization that follows is a result of experience and not something that happens overnight. Some get it and some don’t for the rest of their lives. The zeal to question is probably the most important trait that an extreme metal fan must have after the ability to understand the music. It’s here I make this connection with Black/Death and whatever I write I remain within the confines of this genre. Its very easy to get swayed away by the present – new bands, new crushing recordings, raw-ness and chaos; all packaged and marketed to a section of fans who worship these bands/albums and a flimsy production that is supposed to be true and cult. This belief in my strong opinion stems from three facts – 1. A lack of exposure to the past and 2. A lack of interest about the past and, 3. Not enough time spent listening to and absorbing the past; all amplified by a castrated sense of questioning or a complete lack of it.
Teitanblood is one of the most popular bands in the genre, and starting with their first full length – Seven Chalices these guys from Spain have been making quite a bit of noise in the last few years. Purging Tongues is one of their EPs and the best way to describe it is that its a raw and chaotic form of black/death in line with bands like Proclamation, Revenge and Conquerer. I don’t know Spanish so I will not be able to comment on the passages within the EP. I’m guessing it plays a part in communicating the full nature of the album, so I’ll stick to the music. What is the band trying to achieve when it uses riffs that a seasoned listener with one foot firmly entrenched in the past would have grown up with? What is the x-factor? Why operate under the guise of a production that muffles more rather than showcase riffs? The template is pretty basic; raw and chaotic riffing with a production akin to a bootleg/demo from the early 80s. If that’s the novelty factor under the operating motto of “true and cult” then that’s the most flimsy excuse that a fan can hope to hear. Even if I assume that Purging Tongues is trying to pay some sort of tribute to the demo scene back in the 80s and 90s its relevance is completely lost in the modern era. Youtube is responsible for digging up lots of demos and exposing them to the modern generation and that’s good. But, what’s troubling is accepting any demo that is being thrown at the listener. On that line, what’s even more damning is the fact of acceptance of Teitanblood without any sense of questioning and curiosity as to how it compares to its peers – past and present; and that is dangerous to the extreme metal scene. That’s the same sort of thinking associated with pop music. The music that Teitanblood created in Purging Tongues is not to question their workmanship, ethics and integrity, but it’s meant to be a reality check for fans who don’t ask why and what for?
RATING: 1/5 (Banish the stench of this botched ritual from my memory )