Hanging The Nihilist
Prophetic Blasphemy

So a handful of excellent blackened/symphonic deathcore (or whatever you want to call it) releases have come out in 2022 to basically keep fans satiated until Lorna Shore drop Pain Remains later this year; Shadow of Intent, Hurakan, Downfall of Mankind, Worm Shepherd (who will somehow be releasing a second album later this year…) to name a few. Well……yep- here’s another one, and it’s also one of the better ones.

Hailing From Denmark, Hanging the Nihilist has one EP, 2019s Crow to their name. It’s solid, but Prophetic Blasphemy, sees a marked improvement in all aspects of their sound as they’ve had a couple of years to see and hear what their many many peers are delivering. So they upped the ante, and I’m comfortable putting these guys in that tier with the above-mentioned bands, maybe even up there with Worm Shepherd, as Prophetic Blasphemy is an excellent example of a genre that shows no signs of letting up.

HTN delivers everything all the other bands do, so you know exactly what to expect; dual demonic vocals, massive breakdowns, blasts, etc.  All well played and well produced for maximum carnage. But where HTN has a little edge is the keyboards of Berna Baki, (who cut her teeth doing piano covers of deathcore songs on Youtube, i recommend you go look for them), as with Crow, she adds a more classical, piano-based, and more blackened atmosphere to the proceedings ( along with an array of choirs, strings, and brass). I get a bit of a Kristen Randall (ex Winds of Plague) or Adrienne Cowan (Winds of Plague, Seven Spires) vibe. And that is high praise indeed.  Sure, all the other bands have something similar, but where, say, Hurakan uses them as more of a backdrop, like the way Shadow of Intent uses Francesco Ferrini, here, it’s more cinematic and movie score sounding, and it works wonderfully alongside the standard, if still well done, pummeling deathcore.

It all comes together as something that definitely feels more classically ‘blackened’, not just deathcore with synths. After the requisite atmospheric instrumental intro, “Prelude to Prophecy”, which is one of the more epic ones I’ve heard in the genre, you get “Enter the Procession” and “Inevitable Dissent”, two absolute barn burners to start the album. “The Bloodwell Scriptorium” gives a little respite with more restrained pacing and ivory tinkling from Baki. However, its shortlived as “Labour of the Sacred Bodies”, delivers a blistering number with a killer, low end, piano-backed ending breakdown.

The rest of the album, is all pretty damn good, with the more dramatic, melodic “The Empress’s Wager”, one of those breakdowns that get slower and nastier in “Their Desired Ascension”, a little interlude for Baki to shine in “Defilement Ensued”, and bulldozing closer “Hunted Through hell”, where admittedly things run together a bit.

Prophetic Blasphemy is somewhere between Downfall of Mankind‘s  Vile Birth and Worm Shepherd‘s Ritual Hymns, which has been my favorite entry in the genre of 2022. But let’s be honest, they are all placeholders until Lorna Shore‘s next album.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 23rd, 2022

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