Deiquisitor bask in conspiracies, aliens as they bash in our heads on ‘Downfall of the Apostates’

It’s weirdly fitting and totally not planned that we would be tackling the new record from Danish death mongers Deiquisitor mere days after the passage of legendary radio host Art Bell. His show became a breeding ground for conspiracy theories, Bigfoot hunts, and alien encounters and often kept lonely souls captivated long after the sun fell with these bizarre stories.

Now, Deiquisitor have returned with “Downfall of the Apostates,” a meaty, punishing second slab of death metal that focuses lyrically on occult sciences, conspiracies, and extraterrestrials, practically begging for members of Bell’s huge audience to pore over each ounce of this thing. For those only here to get their hearing further destroyed, fear not. The band—guitarist/vocalist Thomas FJ, bassist/backing vocalist Daniel A, drummer Henrik BC—devastates and punishes liberally over these nine tracks and just over 36 minutes of violence. The weirdness is just a bonus to what’s a pretty stellar collection of songs, and if you’re like me, you’ll be stunned by just how fast this thing blasts by. The band’s members have plied their trade with other notable groups such Blodfest, Offerkult, Wolfslair, Luciation, and a ton others, so they pretty well know what the fuck they’re doing. They prove it on this monster.

“Atom Synthesis” gets us started with a blistering charge that trudges and marches into the mud. Gurgly growls spread grossness while the band hits a thrashy bit that’s overwhelming physically, laying in shots until it ends abruptly. The title track arrives with riffs out to destroy everything in its wake, and that beastly assault continues its damage with growls crushing and a pace that breaks bones. Oddly, this brutal push is joined by an elegant melody that snakes just underneath before it’s swallowed up by chaos and pools of blood. “Faint Distorted Images” is violent off the bat, as the growls peels away the flesh, and the guitars light up, practically blinding you. The vocals are ugly and guttural, while the band settles into start/stop crushing that applies pressure right up to the end. “Tetrad of Lunar Eclipses” has blood-thick growls, delirious, dizzying guitar work, and drums that quake the earth. Your senses are just beaten in the entire time, with fiery soloing closing the door. “The Order of Pegasus Light” rips way, with growls hammering, and weird robotic glazes applied to other sections of the vocals. Again, the band feels like they’re trying to tear at your brain cables and drive you to absolute insanity.

“Metatron” works to crush the ground beneath it from the start, as the destruction will leave you grabbing the walls for support, and the crazed riffs just keep raining down with no end in sight. The guitars charge, while your brain’s impulses are rewired right down to the charging finish. “The Magnificence of” has a tempered start that lets the band develop the ambiance, and then it’s off to the fucking races. The vocals are grisly, while the riffs swagger with attitude, but then the final moments float off and explore space. “Planetary Devastation” has bizarre riffs that kind of reflect the carnage that preceded it, giving it something of a conceptual feel, and then the growls just get ugly. The song is volatile and keeps jarring your insides back and forth, and things finally end with a splitting attack that brings shivers. Closer “War on the Gods” feels like just that, as the song blasts, the growls swallow you whole, and disarming melodies arrive to try to add some class to the joint. The pace gets heavy and intoxicating, as things begin to shift and transform. The final minutes are situated in alien noise fields that stretch over everything, trying to erase your mind so you can’t grasp the uncovered truths you were allowed to witness. You’re left wondering how you get where you are right now. Strange.

As a longtime admirer of anything strange and alien, I was attracted to this record simply by the lyrical content alone. But digging into the musical substance of Deiquisitor’s massive second record “Downfall of the Apostates” revealed a world that was even more powerful than strange conspiracies. This record is a damn fine collection of classic death metal that just so happens to contain content that keeps most people up at night, either over fear or excitement.

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