“when there is no more god, no more soul, no more hope,
there is the obscenity of flesh, the anguish of death, the darkness of despair.
then it gets totally fucked up.
this is the arrival of satan.”
While it may have taken Grenoble black metal outfit The Arrival of Satan (TAOS) six years to follow up Vexing Verses, an exceptionally deranged example of self-loathing ad absurdum (‘Morbid Libido,’ for example, is a heartwarming ode to self-castration — SILLY LOVE SONGS FTW), the wait has proven worthwhile for us sick-but-patient fucks who get off on demonstratively transgressive art-metal (GUILTY!). Passion Sodomy Terror, their dopesick Osmose Productions debut (out now on digital/digipack CD/limited edition vinyl), erects bass-heavy walls of ultra-raw, hook-free tremolo-saturated blackness in a perverse ritual of hatred and nihilism. Fair warning, (un)true believers: this is not some treacly, feel-good soundtrack for Sunday brunching in Brooklyn a la Deafheaven — Passion Sodomy Terror is the pus-seeping sonic equivalent of a flophouse Fentanyl overdose.
Driven by the demented vocals of Necropiss and atonal riffwork of Saint Vincent (Blacklodge, Vorkreist, ex-Merrimack), TAOS spew forth rough-hewed, jaundiced missives of vitriol throughout, leaving little room for the listener to breathe as noxious cuts like the post-punk varnished opener ‘Traitor Brigade’ and ‘Lolita in Furs’ overwhelm the listener’s senses. Barely contained claustrophobic extremity — sonic, conceptual, lyrical — takes complete priority over anything resembling conventional songcraft, much less hooks, which can make Passion Sodomy Terror a harrowing listen, especially in one sitting.
That said, if you can muster the requisite endurance, you’ll find yourself taken on a strangely compelling, if outlandishly perverse, journey to the charred depths of the human psyche. Ultimately, TAOS have merely charted the cartography of the left hand path on Passion Sodomy Terror. Do what thou wilt with their disquieting, unrepentantly debased gospel of Gallic misanthropy.