ANTICHRIST SIEGE MACHINE — Purifying Blade (review)

ANTICHRIST SIEGE MACHINE — Purifying Blade album cover Album · 2021 · War Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
2.5/5 ·
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.
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
siLLy puPPy wrote:
1 year ago
BTW changing it in case anybody reads this and wonders WTF!
siLLy puPPy wrote:
1 year ago
Nope, i meant Cannibal Corpse. I just fucked it all up is what happened! Somehow i thought they were from Virginia but you are SOOOO right, they're not :D Thanks for catching that. I was so uninspired by this album i'd probably never read this again LOL
UMUR wrote:
1 year ago
I´m pretty sure Cannibal Corpse is from Buffalo, New York. Did you mean Cannabis Corpse?


Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Paranoid Heavy Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
Buy this album from our partners
Rising Heavy Metal
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Noce Hivernale Atmospheric Sludge Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Pale Light And Sunless Waters Doom Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Double Double Sludge Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
The Fifth Cessation Sludge Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Poachers Metal Related
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions


Latest Metal News


More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us