Year of release: “Live Ritual” – 2001 / 2018 (this version) / “Victory” – 2018
Released by: Nuclear War Now! Productions
Rating: 7,5 / 10
Very soon, NWN Productions will release two records of cult Canadians BLASPHEMY. New releases of BLASPHEMY are is always significant, but don't hope on something like a full-length album or even an EP. In fact, one of these new releases is a reissue of the legendary concert record from 2001, which is important for the label for personal reasons. The second is a rehearsal record, which is more interesting. To make it easier for myself, I decided to cover both releases in one review. The final score is average from the total amount.
So, "Live Ritual: Friday the 13th" is a record from BLASPHEMY gig that was played in Canada on July 13, 2001. The concert certainly had historical significance, as it was one of the first after BLASPHEMY returned to the stage, and also persuaded YK, the NWN boss, to turn the label from one-time action to a full-fledged bureau. But I will be frank - in addition to the fact that this is a live performance of BLASPHEMY, "Live Ritual" does not stand out. This is totally usual live recording with good sound, crowd noise in the right places, as well as the demands of the musicians after a good half of the tracks to make a bass louder / to add reverberations on guitar. The rest is nothing special. Therefore, if you are not a fan of the band, but just sympathetic, you can skip this release.
"Victory (Son of the Damned)" is a 15-track rehearsal record made in the same 2001', month after the aforementioned concert. CDR with this rehearsal was a bonus to a limited number of copies of the original vinyl release of "Live Ritual: Friday the 13th", and now it is released separately. The most noteworthy fact of this CD is the presence of the track that gave the release a name. As far as I know, this track is exclusive to this release - for now. The track, I must say, is excellent, and it's played by the band even twice. It is also worth noting that BLACK WITCHERY members took part in the rehearsal, but I did not understand where exactly. Sound of the record is very powerful. Of course, all the instruments mix a little, microphones sometimes scale, but clean energy is much more confident than on a live album. And the vocals came out really infernal. In fact, "Victory (Son of the Damned)" can be considered not even as a rehearsal, but as a collection of re-recorded old songs. On it, the sound of BLASPHEMY meets all the modern requirements of goat Black Metal - unlike full-length albums, where there are certain problems with sound (not diminishing, indeed, the satanic power of these works). And it is not worse than even studio LPs of PROCLAMATION, for instance. So, you definitely should buy "Victory (Son of the Damned)". On it, BLASPHEMY essence is revealed in all its glory.