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Saint Blasphemer: Theotokos

Saint Blasphemer
Theotokos
(self-released)

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Californian alternative metal group Saint Blasphemer hits us directly in the face with their latest Theotokos. And though this is heavy stuff to be sure, vocalist John Castellon has lots to say in his lyrics (he is the head of the Orange County Poetry Club) and the players here, Castellon on guitar as well as singing, bassist Steve Shell, and drummer Steve Ybarra deliver nuance in their heaviness. It makes for a layered, enjoyable listen. I just love how they roll ’round the jangly and tight bass spaces, then into the thickness of the first tune “Collapse.” From the get-go, Castellon is revealing a deep trip lyrically that’s cutting him to the quick. “Low” has low swiping in its groove. It reminds me of what Black Sabbath does best when they sway in their hard hitting. It’s a great driving tune with a spectacular lead moment from Castellon. Ybarra is wildly crazy on this one, especially. “Road to Nowhere” is a softer tune with a slinky guitar sound, some loosey-goosey bass from Shell, presenting a sound unlike any that have gone before on this EP. The heavier than heavy title track swirls in its roiling forward and great lyrics. This second release from Saint Blasphemer is a heavy, well-reasoned/played/sung/written EP you should really get your hands on. There are lots of surprises in store from the production to even within each song where the layers take you. Saint Blasphemer’s Theotokos is hard, smart stuff.

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