Indiana’s Blackened Heavy Metal horde, Ptahil, is back again with their third full-length LP and if you liked their brand of massively distorted and reverb-laden Black Heavy Metal before, you’re getting more of what you love. Ptahil has always used the “giant ball of Satanic noise” style of production, which is something that makes their music very hard to discern. The riffing is pretty straightforward Heavy Fucking Metal in style, and if you’re looking for things like guitar solos or flashy playing, you’re not going to find any of that stuff here. These guys are a no-frills bunch, and if it doesn’t stave your face in, it isn’t included. It’s power chord heavy, ass-kicking, no-bullshit Heavy Metal from the first song to the last. Even if the playing is sloppy, you’d never know because the amount of distortion they’re using blends all of it together. Loose or not, the music does get your head banging right away, and even though the songs are longer this time around, the additional length is anything but a problem. One thing I always liked about this band is that despite all the distortion and reverb, the vocals are still mostly understandable. Even without a lyric sheet, it’s possible to follow along after just a couple of listens. Luathca has a delivery style that reminds me a lot of bands like Chicago’s Usurper, or Nunslaughter. It’s a bark that has a harshness to it, but it’s not so brutal that you can’t understand what’s being said. Things never devolve into the typical “gurgle-gurgle-gurgle-Sataaaaan!!” stuff you hear from the average Satanic Death Metal band and I appreciate that. More than anything else, I like that Ptahil doesn’t really sound like anyone else out there. In a scene so full of bands that seem the same or derivative of each other, it’s nice to hear one that kicks ass all over the place and still stands out from the crowd. Given what’s on this album, though, I would say that seeing them live is probably a better medium. As much neck damage as Born Against will give you, catching a live performance would probably land you in the ER.
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