With its hideous cover art, absurd song titles, and filthy sound, Prosanctus Inferi's Pandemonic Ululations of Vesperic Palpitation (Hell's Headbangers, 2010) reeks of teenagers clutching Satanic Bibles and 20-sided dice, waiting for the witching hour to strike in a small town graveyard. Alcohol is imbibed. Bad drugs are taken. Spells of destruction are slurred. Third-hand dubbed cassettes of '80s death metal albums are listened to through boombox speakers. No devils are conjured, but a good time is had by all until the cops show up.

Prosanctus Inferi don't waste any time getting to the heart of those moonlit black masses. Their blackened death assault is tempered with a grindcore-like brevity. By the time you've finished uttering "Conjugal Orgy in the Sacred Heart of Vespers", "Lips of Plasma Vomiting Sanctimonius Pyx", or "Pontifical Undulations of Blasphemic Gesticulation", the songs themselves are distant memories. The music is tangled and cavernous yet speedy, like Incantation or Morbid Angel hopped up on amphetamines. Individual tracks offer little variation and often feel like they could fly off the rails or collide head-on. What Prosanctus Inferi lack in skill, they make up for with exuberance. Although the actual sound is much different, one is reminded of early Possessed or Napalm Death in this respect.

"Lips of Plasma Vomiting Sanctimonius Pyx"

The members of Prosanctus Inferi might be 40-somethings for all I know, yet they understand my inner teenager. The little shit who wants to drink, smoke, break stuff, and draw pentagrams and 666s on every blank surface available while listening to some evil fucking music. They harken back to a time when extreme metal bands cared about energy and attitude. Things like professionalism and musical prowess weren't even afterthoughts.

All of this makes Pandemonic Ululations of Vesperic Palpitation a Satanic adrenaline shot for a 25-minute rager. The songs won't get stuck in your head. The album probably won't end up on your 2010 best-of list. But it will make you reach for a cold one and yearn to revisit your misspent metal youth.

— Josh Haun

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See original artwork, "Head I" by Francis Bacon, here.

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Hells Headbangers (gatefold LP)

Hells Headbangers (CD + gatefold LP)

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