Helcaraxe/Father Befouled
Ruination of the Heavenly Communion

Well, it ain’t Christian metalcore; that’s a certainty. Ruination of the Heavenly Communion is a split release from Father Befouled and Helcaraxe, otherwise known as double Satanic trouble. You may know Georgia’s Father Befouled as the act that released Profano Ad Regnum (as in “Regnum? Damn near killed him!”), a hideous exercise in dread-spreading old school death of the early Incantation/Immolation (or in today’s terms Dead Congregation and Necrovation, sort of) variety that reeks of acrid smoke and tastes like Jim Beam flavored holy water. It is no surprise that Father Befouled’s half of the split continues in that vein. It is either down, doomy, and dirty belly-crawls or up-tempo, clattering death strikes, riddled with harmonic squawks and cavernous bellows, all of which is covered in a slimy film. And that church choir/organ sample during the last part of “Profane Heavenly Crypt” is creepy as hell.

Helcaraxe then retains the unholy, gray skies aura of the early masters, but ratchets up the songwriting dynamics, making its half of the split a pleasant surprise for a first-time listener. More like dirty, organic death with Immolation twists, the rhythms are higher powered and the song structures more varied and of consistently quicker tempo. A song like “Liturgy of the Eucharist” features a lively (relatively speaking) cadence with a high head-bang quotient and relatively melodic guitar bits, while “Helm of Awe” has an almost southern metal, even COC, swing to it, albeit in an old school death kind of way, and is also inclusive of the occasional Swede-death flourish. Groove comes to the forefront on “Putrid Remains,” a real slammer with vortex soloing and a notable break for a lighter, yet still chilling, instrumental section. Closing with a cover of Amorphis “Sign from the North Side” is a nice bonus and quite fitting in the larger scheme of things.

It is hard to go wrong with a split like Ruination of the Heavenly Communion and that includes the skillfully crafted artwork and booklet. It is a two-for-the-price-of-one deal that will introduce you to the darker side of death.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
November 23rd, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: Biff Tannan

    This is a great release ! I picked up the LP version for the Father Befouled tracks..having never heard Helcaraxe.

    ….now I find myself listening to the Helcaraxe side almost everyday ! They are a great band all around…a quite pleasant suprise ! The melodic guitars, while seemingly antithetical to the musty vibe of the split, work wonders !

    Great album!


  2. Commented by: gabaghoul

    great review, I love stuff like: “variety that reeks of acrid smoke and tastes like Jim Beam flavored holy water… down, doomy, and dirty belly-crawls…covered in a slimy film.”


  3. Commented by: vugelnox

    one of the finest releases of 2009 I think. Great material from both bands and while neither sounds at all alike they both effectively channel what made early 90s death metal so good.


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