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REVIEW: Philistine - Black Hymnal Gigantic Monster, 2008
8/10
Philistine - Black Hymnal - cover art Despite a near-unforgivable four-year gap between albums, this enigmatic doom-death-industrial whatsit comes roaring back in reputably convincing fashion, tying a linear thread to 2004's equally worthwhile Consume and Devour. In case you missed it the first time, what the one (or two?) man band Philistine proffers is low-tempo recorded in hi-fi. Fist-dragging guitar riffs converge somewhere among Neurosis, Godflesh, Swans (right down to the ďJobĒ cover), old Paradise Lost, ancient Samael and a panoply of other slow, slow bands that all stop short of outright drone. Vocals employ about six or seven variations on clear screaming and growling, all of them good, forceful and well-juxtaposed. Boomy, reverb-laden programmed drums actually enhance the musicís quality rather than dilute it lamentably, and, as played in lock-step halftime, lend a martial, authoritarian vibe to the goings-on. Would Philistine benefit from a real drummer? Possibly, but not certainly, and until Mr. Natas Corpsegrinder (goofy pseudonym!) runs out of so many good ideas, Iím wholly unwilling to crack open the goose in hypothetical search of a bit more gelt.

written by Matthew Kirshner

Tracklist
1. Dybbuk
2. Kaspar Hauser Safe in the Arms of the Blue Fairy
3. The Citizens of Oran
4. Human Nature Reflected in the Semantics of Apocalypse
5. Iron is Earth, Sword is Man
6. Haruspex
7. Genovese Syndrome
8. Strigoi
9. Job [Swans cover]

Playing time: 43:29

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