Few active bands embody the authentic spirit of black metal as convincingly as Belgium’s Perverted Ceremony. Beginning with its 2016 “Demo I” and later punctuated in 2017 with the debut full-length, “Sabbat of Behezaël,” Perverted Ceremony has proven that the most effective music in this subgenre is that which emphasizes an aura of vileness and evil over the sterility that often results from modern recording and production techniques. It is in part this approach that has led to comparisons between Perverted Ceremony and some of the most respected names in black metal, with a particular resemblance to the Finnish tradition promulgated by such revered cults as Beherit and Barathrum. Although such high praise would be expected from the label charged with releasing the band’s work, it is substantiated by the fact that both the demo and album have already sold out multiple pressings over the course of the past year.
As was the case with these previous releases, Nuclear War Now! has again conspired with the band to release the self-titled “Perverted Ceremony” EP on twelve-inch vinyl format. Prefaced with an intro and featuring two longer tracks, “Graveyard Sacred Worship” and “Malformed Procreation,” this recording resumes where “Sabbat of Behezaël” left off. Still present are the established hallmarks of Perverted Ceremony’s sound, which is perhaps most uniquely identifiable in the incessantly buzzing guitars and bass, each inhabiting its own infernal register. These bleats are accompanied by the same demonic vocal incantations and ominous keyboard progressions as on previous recordings, both of which lend a ritualistic element to the music. The artwork that graces the cover of the EP is from a painting that depicts the osculum infame, or “Shameful Kiss,” a practice whereby a witch would greet and pay homage to the Devil by kissing his anus, or “other mouth.” Finally, in addition to appearing on the stand-alone vinyl version of this release, all three new tracks are also included on the CD version of “Sabbat of Behezaël,” which is to be released simultaneously and thereby promises to further the dissemination of this gospel of sinful immorality.
– C. Conrad