Canadian destroyers Blight put focus on vile mission statement with debut ‘Temple of Wounds’

Things that are worth the effort do not necessarily come to fruition overnight. Sure, sometimes a project can strike gold and come together quickly and be better for it, but just as often, time has to be spent, blood must be shed, and sweat must fly in order to be fully satisfied with something in which you’ve invested your life.

Canadian black metal heathens Blight have their origins dating back to 2008, yet we’re finally in the presence of their debut record “Temple of Wounds,” a nine-track, 50-minute opus that is utterly brutal and painstakingly laid out to a degree in which your total devotion to the cause is demanded. Centering on themes including inner-alchemical transmutation and antinomian philosophies (if you’re not familiar, enjoy the insane Google rabbit hole in which you’re about to leap) the band—vocalist G. McCaughry, guitarist Pascal Pelletier, bassist Cedric Deschamps, drummer Rob Lapalme—devours you into this world and puts you through their mental ringer. This is pure brutality and warped chaos that refuses to relent over this course of this brain-tangling journey.

“Dar-Akh-Qayin” trudges open as the vocals buzz in McCaughry’s throat before it melts into screams. Strangeness bleeds into the music as the guitars spiral, deep chants erupt, and things burn out in the end. “Elsewhere & Elsewhen” has guitars in a tornadic formation as vicious wails and raucous emotions swelter. Growls boil underwater as the track takes on a mystical edge, ramping into piercing shrieks as the music dissolves in echoes. “Kingship” unleashes slurry guitars as growls peel off, and the guitars play tricks with your brain. Things speed up as the band ushers in majestic black metal sheets while the vocals strike back, and things come to a furious finish. “Before the Monolith” spills crushing drums and meanders through the fires, mangling with charring riffs. Warbled speak singing haunts as the playing gets hypnotic, and droning calls mix into the night.

“A Violent Light” has a punchy tempo as the vocals are shredded shrieks, and a black metal gaze rises up. Guitars intertwine as clean vocals rush in before the playing explodes and is mangled in its gears before the track blows into space. “The Aurous Nescience” bleeds in from mystery and starts blistering while the vocals begin choking. Desperate cries ring out as the music takes on a gothy feel, turning into more of a driving rock tempo before corrosion pushes in and eats away the foundation. “Palish-I” opens with guitars awakening and then ripping open the sky while playing is vile and crushing. The vocals scrape along as a sense of evil permeates, and fluid guitars flush the track with atmosphere before blasting out. “Scrying the Iosis” brings barked vocals as the guitars cut through, and a strange pace sickens. The tempo is battering as noises rise and the shrieks pierce, stirring and pummeling. “This blessing is a curse, this curse is a blessing,”  McCaughry calls as the track hammers closed. “We Left of Our Own Volition” opens and rivets as the shrieks creak, and droning hell is unleashed. Hypnotic tones and acidic shrieks do damage as wailed instructions hailed toward “our lord Lucifer” rain down as the track grinds through your psyche.

It may have taken 12 years from their initial formation to get a debut full-length record from Blight, but as “Temple of Wounds” makes clear, that time they took getting everything the way they wanted bore disgusting fruit. This album feels like not so much a collection of songs as much as a mission statement, a dagger forward in spite and ferocity. This is a brutal blast to the chest that drives the air from your lungs and leaves you gasping on the ground.

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