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ANTICHRIST SIEGE MACHINE - Purifying Blade cover
2.50 | 1 rating | 1 review
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Album · 2021


1. Intro - The Way of Cain (1:18)
2. Carried into Darkness (2:40)
3. Unleashed Hostility (3:10)
4. Chaos Insignia (2:02)
5. Led by Fire (1:16)
6. Victorious Legions of Satan (3:27)
7. Intro - That the Wicked Be Revealed (0:56)
8. Defiled in Iniquity (3:08)
9. (To Be Sooner) Broken by Pain (2:09)
10. Antichrist Siege Machine (5:11)
11. The Inevitable Penalty (3:49)

Total Time 29:06


- Ryan Zell / guitars
- S.B. / drums, vocals

About this release

Purifying Blade [p] Downloadable, Streaming
2021 Digital File

Thanks to silly puppy for the addition


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siLLy puPPy
Something about the US state of Virginia where Christian religious zealotry has been a tradition since the days of Jamestown. This original colony state seems to have unleashed a vehement backlash that has taken myriad forms. In the world of music, Virginia has more than produced its share of iconic metal bands to keep the rebellious spirit alive whether it be the theatrical displays of Gwar, the thunderous crossover thrash of Municipal Waste or the parody death metal mayhem of Cannabis Corpse. Here’s another band hailing from the Old Dominion state. ANTICHRIST SIEGE MACHINE or simply A.S.M. hails from Richmond, the same capital city that spawned the wrath of Lamb of God, another blatantly anti-Christian noisemaking outfit that fittingly began its career as Burn The Priest.

Unlike that Lambsters, this war metal / blackened death metal band consists of only two members, namely Scott Bartley on drums and Ryan Zell on guitars and vocals. There seems to be no bass and if there is it’s buried so deep in the cacophonous mix that it’s virtually impossible to detect. This duo started in 2016 and released “Schism Perpretration” in 2019. PURIFYING BLADE is this artist’s second offering and takes the simple “lay all things to siege” approach with a bombastic display of sonic slaying and blood-spilling symbology in its 29-minute wake. PURIFYING BLADE is one of those no nonsense albums that finds comfort in its one-dimensionality where thunderous percussive blasts are accompanied by murky muddied guitar riffs. Zell’s vocals exist somewhere between guttural death growls and raspy black metal torture cell screams.

Needless to say, nothing on PURIFYING BLADE is anything out of the ordinary in the now well-established camp of war metal. Satanic sieging of Christian lands with heads flying off in every direction is the theme of the day here all accompanied by a boisterous romp of muddy metal madness. From war metal standards, A.S.M. checks off all the boxes for sure but in its dramatic attempt to sound louder than Satan himself fails to offer any glimpse of creativity which beckons repeated listens. By now the war metal game has reached much higher grounds with bands like Teitanblood, Archgoat and Diocletian, just to name a few taking war metal into the realms of the most technically gifted death metal bands. A.S.M. has not reached such heights and as a consequence finds the band resorting to slower passages with simple sludge metal drumming and monotonous one-trick pony guitar savagery.

It seems that this duo is more concerned about imagery than musical content since their photos oft depict them as gun-toting angst-ridden youngsters ready to cause trouble wherever they may find themselves. Well that’s all and good but the music is where it counts for me and A.S.M. doesn’t have much to deliver beyond the generic underbelly of noisy and chaotic war metal by the numbers. War metal is one of those metal subgenres that has a limiting factor thus forcing artists to find subtle ways of allowing the creative process to unfold. In the case of A.S.M. they seem content to just make a bunch of noise and strike a pose for photo ops. Nothing wrong with that of course but as far as the music is concerned, been there, done that and moved on. In short, this is a rather uninteresting slice of war metal that fails to inspire anything relevant beyond that which has been done and better. Meh.

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