PROCLAMATION, Advent of the Black Omen (2006, Nuclear War Now! Productions)
Herewith the Council and your friendly Friars do present a special three-skull installment surveying the artwork of Spain’s Proclamation. This is a band the Council are especially fond of, considering their single-minded dedication to the skull. Of their four full-length albums, all feature a skull. Only the fourth one, 2012’s Nether Tombs of Abaddon, disqualifies itself for inclusion into the Skullection, due to the added ribcage and suggestion of a skeleton beyond the skull itself. But let us rejoice in the three covers that have been inducted, the first one being Advent of the Black Omen. Here we see a human skull adorned with massive curled ram-like horns wrapped around the points of a pentagram. Now, according to our sources and statisticians, we do believe we have seen this exact same motif before…we are holding now for confirmation of its unoriginality…and…wait…and…yes, indeed, we have seen this motif here at BDS headquarters, about 187 times, according to our guys in the truck. We appreciate its dedication to tradition, and please note that the inverted crucifixes, complete with inverted Christ, are a relatively innovative touch.
Given Proclamation’s rather traditional choices in skull cover artwork, and the repetition across their discography of said choices, we can’t act surprised that the band’s music itself is equally derivative. Considering the issuing label and the band’s image, we should actually hope this sounds a lot like Blasphemy, and sound like Blasphemy it does! Posing in a graveyard, adorned in hundreds of pounds of spikes, chains and molested Catholic crucfixes, this bands look very clearly mirrors their sound: blasphemous, frightening, obnoxious, oppressive, over-the-top, otherworldly, and, let’s face it, ridiculous. Had they originated this style of metal, it would be a lot more impressive, but considering how many generations removed from the original it is, one can only sit in amazement as it blazes by in its crazed rawness, sounding exactly like the missing link between Fallen Angel of Doom and Gods of War. As the only Friar who very much enjoys Blasphemy, Beherit, Sarcofago and the like, I will always have a soft spot for this sort of blasphemous noise; the aesthetic is appealing, always, but due to its intentionally derivative nature, anything recorded beyond the mid ’90s is caught in a vacuum of diminishing returns.
— Friar Wagner