The Infernal Gospels of Primitive Devil Worship is a searing slab of traditional black metal but one that also is weighed down by the passing a few years ago of one of its chief protagonists. So Beastcraft’s blasphemous beauty of an album, while smeared to its core with satanic black juices, is also a tribute and lasting testimony to the late Trondr Nefas.
Nefas (known as Alastor Nefas when performing with Beastcraft) and Sorath Northgrove aligned to create Beastcraft in 2003, immediately attracting attention through such revered demos as Pentagram Sacrifice and Satanic Supremacy.
The last album they worked on together was Baptized in Blood and Goatesmen in 2007. Nefas who performed with several other esteemed underground black metal acts – most notably Urgehal for whom he was the singer – and Vulture Lord, died in 2012 at the age of 34 “from natural causes,” his body discovered in woodland.
The Infernal Gospels of Primitive Devil Worship therefore draws a final line under the work of Beastcraft and significantly features probably one of the last few musical compositions to be released in which Nefas contributed, salvaged from the debris of some old Beastcraft demos.
This window to the final chapter of the Beastcraft journey opens slowly with the intro Aapenbaring which consists of some indecipherable mysterious mumblings, all dark and moody, before some razored riffage leads into Demonic Perversion in which the true blackened Beastcraft spirit starts to emerge.
Beastcraft are a multifaceted monster and on Deathcraft and Necromancy they show their ability to proffer a much more measured approach with a haunting atmospheric groove weaving throughout a pedestrian paced Luciferin landscape, with its hypnotic singular riffage Burzumesque at times.
If your taste is for something more likely to get the pit fists pumping then The Fall of the Impotent God will do it for you with its surplus of satanic savagery slowly working its way into your skin and bones with Sorath crying out “I may be Satan.”
The occult-fuelled onslaught is maintained in the thrusting Her Highness of Hell in which the drums are punished to insane levels as the Beastcraft blood starts to pump faster.
With Reborn Beyond the Grave some neat time changes help build the suspense levels, and while the tempo is relatively restrained the air of menace is never far from the surface, Beastcraft even injecting a little flamboyant prog indulgence at the very end.
While Beastcraft follow in the footsteps of Darkthrone, their own interpretation of Norwegian Black Metal makes them a compelling listen with that same raw edge helping to shape on lightning blasts such as The Devil’s Triumph.
The Beast Descends is a gloom encased funereal march that brings The Infernal Gospels of Primitive Devil Worship to a stupefying and yet satisfying close. Sorath speaks over a non-threatening riff but one that slowly casts a spell of black magic across the twisted terrain.
The collectable limited edition of the album comes complete with a DVD where you’ll find a number of Beastcraft’s notorious ritualistic stage shows along with interviews conducted with both Sorath and Trondr.
While Trondr Nefas may be more widely recognised through the legacy he leaves behind with Urgehal, for whom he fronted for two decades, his work with Sorath to create and develop Beastcraft is scarcely less worthy.
As such The Infernal Gospels of Primitive Devil Worship is a fitting farewell and ensures that wherever black metal hordes gather under the dark moon to salute his work glasses and drinking horns will be held skywards to salute Trondr, a true black metal son of Satan.