September 13, 2013

Prosanctus Inferi - Noctambulous Jaws Within Sempiternal Night

Written by Craig Hayes.

Artwork by Paolo Girardi

I'm not suggesting you should ever judge a book by its cover, but if you didn't know a thing about Prosanctus Inferi, then a glimpse at the band's Bandcamp page is going to tell you ninety-nine percent of what need to know — without even hearing a note. 

Firstly, you're going to discover that the Colombus, Ohio-based band is being released by harbinger of all things foul and ferocious, Nuclear War Now! — so there's a clear expectation as to Prosanctus Inferi's pummelling temper already. Furthermore, the artwork for the band's latest album, Noctambulous Jaws Within Sempiternal Night, features a fantastically detailed and hellish landscape by Italian artist Paolo Girardi, along with an utterly incompressible logo. And, finally, you'll find occult themed and tongue-twisting song titles like, "Nuptial Hymens Burst Forth Slave Carrion", "Gestation Within the Lunar Miasmic Envelope" and "Seminal Moon Born Orgy of Birth". 

Photo by Carmelo Española.

Add all that up, and it'll be no surprise to find that black arts and netherworld worship is indulged, and that the stench of Morbid Angel mixing with the reek of a slew of contemporary blackened death merchants is strong. That said, although there's nothing surprising per se about Noctambulous Jaws Within Sempiternal Night, that isn't to say that Prosanctus Inferi doesn't dispense some gloriously nasty and nightmarish black and death metal. 

The band was founded by Jake Kohn (of Father Befouled and Black Funeral fame), so you'd expect something blasphemous and hideous, and Prosanctus Inferi's debut full-length, 2010's Pandemonic Ululations of Vesperic Palpitations, and 2011's Red Streams of Flesh EP, certainly met with applause from fans who enjoy their metal old-school, caustic, warped, and sounding liked it was crafted in the steaming waste pit of a slaughterhouse.

Photo by Carmelo Española.

Noctambulous Jaws Within Sempiternal Night isn't any different. Tracks such as "Maternal Tongue of Sempiternal Evil" and "Phantom Lust For the Pulse of Flesh" are seething masses of vermian rawness – all writhing and gloomy blitzkriegs of repulsiveness, digging their way out of the rotting intestines of some hideously worm-ridden demon. With wrath, perversion, and unpleasantness galore, Noctambulous Jaws Within Sempiternal Night is putrid and horrid, which is, of course, exactly why it's also so enjoyable. Fans of acts like Antediluvian, Ignivomous, or any of Nuclear War Now!'s other sacrilegious and throat-slitting fare, would be aware of the label's roster of uncompromising artists, and Prosanctus Inferi aren't interested in easy or lightweight melodies either. In saying that, Noctambulous Jaws Within Sempiternal Night isn't quite the bespattered album you'd presume. There's clarity and crispness in the production, particularly where wailing solos and ascents up the fret-board ring out like a '80s thrash tribute to the likes of early Slayer or Sodom — and that grants the album a certain depth and a tasty vintage tang. 

Photo by Carmelo Española.

In all, Noctambulous Jaws Within Sempiternal Night, is a half hour or so of ceaselessly ugly brutality, and much like a repetitive punch in the face, there's nothing remotely subtle about its intent. Prosanctus Inferi's set out to make an abrasive, evil and barbaric album, all filled with grotesque amounts of desecration and destruction, and that's exactly what you get. Those seeking wunderkind technical wizardry had best look elsewhere, but if you're after chaos, carnage, and grisly audio violence, then the yawning bloody maw of Noctambulous Jaws Within Sempiternal Night awaits. 

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

You can see more of Carmelo Española's Prosanctus Inferi photos here. Some of them were used inside the gatefold of the Noctambulous Jaws Within Sempiternal Night LP.

  1. Yes, this was goddamn good. One of the better albums of 2013 for sure.

    1. It holds up for sure. Much more technical than the usual NWN releases, but still very steeped in the label's aesthetic.