“Sacrements of Descension”

By Anathema Decree

Gene Palubicki, who in my opinion is the best death metal guitarist still releasing meaningful and vicious music to date, is a living legend and an unequaled master of his craft. ANGELCORPSE is likely the most criminally underappreciated USDM band of all time. All of their output was spectacular. 1999's “The Inexorable” in particular, while garnering a cult like following from the underground faithful, never came close to the accolades and popularity that some of the genre's contemporaries such as MORBID ANGEL, CANNIBAL CORPSE and DEICIDE enjoyed. It easily holds up to any of the classic records from those American juggernauts. PERDITION TEMPLE's “Sacraments of Descension” is the most recent brainchild from the mind of the Floridian death metal maestro. The 2020 album, released via Hells Headbangers, is the third full length by PERDITION TEMPLE.

Immediately, the LP kicks off into the breakneck, acerbic riffing barrage, and does not let up for the roughly 34 minute playtime. The guitar work is everything one would expect from Gene's patented, blistering, precise, squealing, acrimonious, yet somehow extremely catchy and groovy writing. It's balls to the wall, in all the best ways possible, while exploiting variants in picking and riff structure to great effect. The writing and execution is essentially flawless here folks.

He is joined by the returning Ronnie Parmer behind the kit, who is a skilled and well traveled veteran of the death metal scene. Parmer's drumming is a perfect match with Palubicki's arrangements, and the two hit the ground running from the opening track. Newly added to the mix is ARES KINGDOM's frontman Alex Blume, who has taken on bass, as well as live vocal duties. Blume has previously worked with Gene in yet another excellent side project titled BLASPHEMIC CRUELTY. With the departure of Impurath (BLACK WITCHERY/DIOCLETIAN), who sang on the last P.T. full-length, “The Tempter's Victorious”, Palubicki took over vocal responsibilities. He did an adequate job in this department, and knows how to deliver the tried and true mid-tone raspy sound we expect to accompany his playing.

The production is very solid on this album overall. It's modern sounding, without the disgraceful over compressed computer wizardry that so often plagues the plethora of modern death metal charlatans. The guitar tone is sharp and clear while retaining the attack we've come to love from their sound. The drumming is also relatively modern sounding and very precise. Everything is mixed adequately in my opinion, but I can foresee some of the underground tape obsessed traditionalists take umbrage with the clarity and overall cleanliness of sound here.I thoroughly enjoy the whole record, and recommend listening to it in its entirety. Considering its concise length, this should be effortless. If I had to choose stand out tracks, I'm inclined to point the listener toward “Desolation Usurper”, “Red Reaping”, and the closer, “Antichrist”.

In conclusion, if you're a fan of true USDM of the 90's Floridian variety, I highly doubt you'll find a better genre release this year. PERDITION TEMPLE in no way reinvents the wheel on “Sacraments of Descension”, nor should they. While so many of the old masters have gone by the wayside, or have continued to release record after record with diminishing returns when it comes to craft and sincerity, Gene Palubicki keeps turning out instant classics. This year is no exception. I highly recommend picking up “Sacraments of Descension” immediately.