BLASPHMACHINE, Hell (2012, demo)

The skull:
Sometimes I’m absolutely sure I’ve seen a skull before, and this time I was so convinced I had that I went back through the archives to find its dopelganger, to no avail. This bears some passing resemblance to covers by Conqueror and Revenge (and one of the members of Blasphmachine is pictured on Metal Archives in a Revenge shirt, so the similarity is probably not coincidental) but it’s not exactly like anything we’ve seen to date. So, I guess, kudos to Blasphmachine for making the most derivative-seeming but apparently original Big Dumb Skull yet. This is a dubious honor to stake, but bands like this will take their acclaim where they can get it.

The music:
I’m struggling to remember if I’ve ever enjoyed a rehearsal room demo. Nothing comes to mind, and Blasphmachine’s lone demo Hell isn’t changing that. As grindy death metal goes, I’d say they’re not the worst, but when your tunes are a blur of white noise by design, every last bit of fidelity you can achieve in the studio is helpful for turning your blasting nonsense into something resembling music. For some reason, bands that sound like this are always referred to as “black/death metal” but I don’t hear any black metal at all in their sound. Maybe they like Satan, though. Who knows, or cares? Now, Blasphmachine are from Malaysia, and maybe it’s incredibly hard to record a heavy metal demo there, and so maybe they’re to be commended for grinding this out (so to speak), but that doesn’t really help Hell go down any smoother. I’ll give them some points for including some kind of intro on “Bless the Fall,” though; it sounds like they just played some horror movie on the TV in their rehearsal space and recorded it through the air to their boombox. That’s commitment to the bit. But, ironic chuckles notwithstanding, there just isn’t much to recommend this.
— Friar Johnsen

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