Friday, March 19, 2010

Black Witchery vs. Conqueror

This week, we’ve got two legends of the North American black metal underground duking it out to see who gets first dibs on raping the ass of Christ. Both of these bands are fueled by an irrational hatred for Christianity and probably don’t like Jews, fags, or the kitchen staff at the nearest expensive restaurant either. They’ll never win any congeniality awards, but this split somehow managed to attain cult legend status amongst followers of all that is grim/kvlt/nekro. Since I never really followed black metal that extensively, I don’t know how or when that happened. But I do know that Hellstorm of Evil Vengeance occupied a space in my music collection well before it got to that point. When you bespectacled black-clad dorks were still listening to Korn; I was annoying all of my punk friends with this ugly black metal trash. Then again, a bespectacled black-clad dork told me about this disc in the first place, so maybe I shouldn’t be so mean.

Ten years ago or so, I used to sit in front of coffee shops like Java Rama in Alameda or Wall Berlin in Berkeley and talk about music with this guy John. Like me, John was also undergoing a fascination with black metal at the time. But he was a bit more technologically advanced than I was, so he was able to download all sorts of raw and crazy-sounding black metal shit that wasn’t in the local record stores. While talking about Darkthrone one day, John mentioned a band called Black Witchery that had the potential to make Fenriz and the gang sound like choirboys. Not only that, but they were from right here in the good old US of A. It was still difficult to find a lot of American black metal bands at the time, so both John and I were interested whenever one would pop up. With John’s high recommendation, I picked up the Black Witchery/Conqueror split CD and gave it a spin.

Florida has been the birthplace for many a metal band over the years, but one would figure that it’s an unlikely locale for a nasty black metal outfit like Black Witchery. Yet they started there in the early ‘90s, playing death metal under the name Irreverent. By 1996, they changed their name to Witchery and headed in more of a black metal direction. Three years later, they became Black Witchery and the transformation was complete. They issued a seven-inch called Summoning of Infernal Legions before doing this split, and continue on to this day. Apparently these guys are so evil and misanthropic; they don’t even like having sex with women. After all, the bitch might get pregnant and produce another worthless human life. I guess the band members prefer scat orgies in their practice pad, according to some bizarre story told by their bassist/vocalist Impurath. Yeah. Obviously, these guys know how to party.

Conqueror also started in the early ‘90s, originating in Victoria, BC. After four years, the dynamic duo of J. Read and R. Forster released the Anti-Christ Superiority demo in 1996. Forster and Read opted to keep it sounding raw and disgusting long after most of the big death metal bands had become more technical and produced. This isn’t for everyone, but I think their lo-fi approach would appeal to those who still yearn for the days of tape-trading old death metal and grindcore demos. In fact, Conqueror’s half of this split is a reissue of the aforementioned 1996 demo. They would release another demo in 1998 and the pummeling War Cult Supremacy LP a year later before calling it quits.

So, which band gets a piece of Jesus’ ass first? Click on the link below and make your own decision.

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