GRANDIOSE MALICE - The Eternal Infernal
If you want to talk about USBM then hey before the one man BURZUM copy-cats, symphonic DIMMU BORGER clones and hipsters there were a few ground breaking acts here in the states which were total rule-breakers. One of those acts was BLACK WITCHERY. Their 2001 debut, Desecration of the Holy Kingdom, in my not so humble opinion is mandatory to have. Of all the acts in USBM's first res-ponders I consider BLACK WITCHERY to the best of the bunch.
Much of the band's greatness is credited to the guitar mastery of founding member Steve Childers, otherwise known in the USBM scene as Tregenda. Unfortunately in 2016 Childers was killed in a car accident. A few years prior to his death he had left BLACK WITCHERY to work on other projects. One of which was PUBLIC ASSASSIN, a death/thrash project he originally started back in 1989, which in 2015 finally saw a full length released. This release here by GRANDIOSE MALICE was his latest project before his death.
The Eternal Infernal was originally a demo which Childers sent out to friends as a gesture of "hey check this out". When he passed away, a couple of his friends decided to not let his final recordings go into obscurity. When I listen to this it's as if Childers put his whole musical essence into the output. It's a combined blackened extreme metal genre extravaganza. The recording was done as a two piece act with Childers handling guitars and bass with close friend Matt Glaser on drums and vocals.
Even though this has gone through the mastering process the raw and savage demo sound smacks you in the face. Soundwise it's a very brutal style of blackened death displayed with touches of thrash, straight up metal as well as that experimental vibe that he explored on his final album with BLACK WITCHERY, aka: Inferno of Sacred Destruction. Yeah it's crude, filthy and totally unexceptionable to the modern hipster tastes of today. That's why it's so fuckin good. At certain times it really delves into early BATHORY territory or even NECROPHOBIC which I have no problem with.
In the end I'm left wondering whether this would be received as well now if Childers were still alive. No one speaks ill of the dead, even hipsters respect that publicly in print that is. Personally I think it's a fantastic release. One of the kickers for me is listening to the man's soloing which is somewhere between chaotic and psychotic. The guy played by his own rules to the end. He walked his own path. Today there's plenty of similar styled bands that play things safe. Thankfully we have this last will and testament.