Having a ton of things piled up on you at one time can be a madness accelerator, making your head feel like it weighs a ton and keeping your anxiety running on high. There has been a lot of that this year, and for me, work is running a million miles per hour with hardly a breath to take, so it can seem like there’s an all-out assault on your brain.
Taking on “Profane Death Exodus,” the debut full-length from Pacific Northwest-based doom/death machine Diabolic Oath, can feel demanding and overwhelming during its annihilating run time. There is so much going on, such massive bludgeoning, that it can give you a touch of panic as you try to keep pace with everything that’s going on. This seven-track, nearly 39-minute destroyer has the band—(and this is what they list on their Bandcamp page, so fucking buckle in) The Temple – Six Pillars of Profane Pestilence (likely guitars), Ominous Void – Abysmal Lows of Unknown Origin (has to be bass), and Chthonian Conqueror – Exalted Purveyor of Unholy Thunder (going with drums here)—all applying their hellish voices to the mix, piling on for a record and experience that’s unrelenting and may need a few visits for you to peel back each layer.
“Towards Exalted Coronation” opens the record with guitars churning and growls lurching across the floor, leaving oil streaks. Menacing death reaches vile levels as the guitars catch fire and ignite, wild howls charge, and the track ends in chaos, running into “Immaculate Conjuration of Infernal Recrudescence” where the stomps and coarse wails greet you with fists swinging. The track slithers along as the growls sicken, while dark guitars collect and swirl, growls engorge, and everything comes to a bloody end. “Morbid Ekstasis” explodes as the guitars well up, leading to a massive assault that aims to suffocate. Death growls collect as the guitars splatter, while death clouds hang overhead and threaten your lung capacity as the track practically tears out its guts.
“Emundationem Flammae” is an infernal blast furnace as growls and shrieks unite, and grossness clobbers you wholly. The center crumbles as a stampede rushes through, while the fury turns into a thrashy assault that boils in its own juices. From there, the bass clobbers, creating death spirals that end up in mystical oblivion. “Apocryphal Manifestations” moves slowly through blunt, yet weird terrains, as death snarls curl around the corners, and calculated playing aims to make you absorb each blow. The tempo gets faster as terrifying shrieks rain down, leaving the bottom end to hammer the earth. “Opening the Gates to Blasphemic Domination” simmers in strange riffs while nightmarish growls emerge from molten pools, and bones are crunched and left for dead. The playing mashes as the shrieks peel back cuticles, finally retreating back into the furnace for good. Closer “Chalice of Conquering Blood” is the longest track, running a healthy 10:23 and beginning with waters trickling and doom ghouls crawling out of the mess. Growls level you as thunderous death and brutal punishment are handed out generously, and disease rots in the song’s belly. Bloody clashing meets pulverizing drums as gothy synth washes in, and the track disappears into alien clouds.
There’s a lot to like but also fear with Diabolic Oath’s debut from the outright soul-tarnishing death to the sooty doom in which it steps liberally. “Profane Death Exodus” is a deadly first full salvo for a band that’s still early in their development but have their weapons sharpened quite bluntly to take the longest possible time to open flesh. This is terrifying, unforgiving blackness that will leave your body bruised inside and out.
For more on the band, go here: https://diabolicoath.bandcamp.com/
To buy the album, go here: http://sentientruin.com/releases/diabolic-oath-profane-death-exodus
For more on the label, go here: http://sentientruin.com/