Prezir – As Rats Devour Lions (2018)

Prezir

As Rats Devour Lions

Self-Released/Independent

Not surprisingly, Prezir have delivered another great offering of classic black, death and thrash metal. Thrash riffs open the title track, which rolls right into powerful black metal. The scowls are thick and fierce, with tremolos loud enough to discern over the slightly raw production value. This is a good thing though, as I wouldn’t want the album to sound any more crisp than it does. There is a great sense of warmth here that I enjoy. Death growls roll into the mix also, dueting perfectly with the razor-sharp scowls that I’ve already mentioned. “Ideologue Alchemy” reaches for more frostbitten territory, though works in a fierce section of classic influenced death metal near the mid-point for good measure. A solo is also thrown into the mix, which caught me off-guard. “Janicari” rolls out that great classic heavy metal feel right out of the gate with an unexpected thrash vibe that includes a sample of shredding. It mutates into classic black metal before finishing what it started in what soon becomes black/thrash, with more than a few solo nodes here and there. Great stuff, I’m impressed. Equally great territory explored in the middle-eastern influenced riffing of “Dar Al-Harab” which before the Antifa shit would have probably got these guys classified as members of ISIS (what ever happened to them?) or before that, some other kind of Bush-era terrorist. In any case, I love the punk influence utilized in “Serpents In The House Of Ra” which says to me that there’s no shortage of inspirations on this record and that only helps to make it more palatable and easily relistenable. “Hamatsa Death Ritual” is literal solo madness, coupling with pounding death metal to make what I’d consider to be yet another great cut. Even though black metal is featured throughout the album, Prezir aren’t glued to it and that’s what I feel is most memorable. Yet another band that have made a better go at it than Immortal this year. Without going through the whole thing, I can say easily that there’s a real winner here in Prezir.

– Slight Rant –

Somehow or another these gentlemen got into some shit regarding a venue where a bunch of post-hipster Antifa members decided to call them Nazis. This resulted in frontman Luka having to type up a gargantuan defense behind the band’s lyrics and imagery. I swear that we’re in the second half of the Satanic Panic, but this time it’s called the Nazi Panic. Actually, that’s a good name for this madness and I think I’ll use it.

You know, back in the old days, metal got flack for being Satanic. Now it’s getting flack for promoting Nazism. Lemmy had a collection of memorabilia because he was a World War II buff, but he was no Nazi. Neither are these guys. Luka had to admit also that he was from Serbia, which was a determining point in Hitler losing the war. You know, the war that we fought a little over five decades ago. Most of the people bitching about this weren’t even born in the era, they’re just being brainwashed by social media algorithms and would function better in life without their cellphones as an appendage. I could actually prove that too. I’ll bet they don’t even wash behind their ears anymore. We’re really in a shitshow.

I know this is going to sound incredibly silly, but I think that the controversy was a good thing for these guys because it helped to get them known. Also, Luka’s response to that made a lot of people change their mind on what they’d thought about the band (because you don’t get paid for thinking) and it definitely brought more fans than they might have had, were this issue not to happen. It’s a promotion game and I’ve said this before – if you want your band to become famous in this genre you have to appeal to the thing that society doesn’t like, because our genre is all about rebellion. In this case, that’s apparently Nazism, white supremacy and a whole lot of other ridiculous shit. No one is telling you to actually believe this stuff, but bands can satirize it in order to piss off people who can’t put down their cellphones for five minutes and wait for the algorithms to tell what thing they’re supposed to be angry about next.

You could also make satire out of Antifa. I’m surprised that hasn’t happened yet and know that GWAR would have done it if Brockie were still around. These people are such a mob that if you rile them up, you’re most certainly going to be known around the world. If these people start to realize that they’re being manipulated by so many bands with this false aesthetic, they’ll literally quit these social justice charades and look for something else to bitch about. Maybe something of real merit.

I think that many bands should start trying to satirically adopt this stuff in the way that Satanism took off in early black and death metal years ago. But instead of religious virtues, it is social justice virtues that will ban and decry your album. Instead of being a devil-worshipper, you’re now a Nazi. And not even a Nazi, but a Notzi. These redneck punks don’t even hold a candle to the drug-addled skinheads of yesteryear, many who were actually dangerous, rather than merely dense and on a return trip from McDonald’s.

Look at how many records Marilyn Manson sold during the tail end of the last censorship panic. You might not think Satan is a big deal today, but he was a real menace to Christians during the massive Evangelical movement of the Clinton era. He sold records. This same form of political voice is coming back like an unsavory form of bell-bottoms. But as I think about it, if this brand of virtue based censorship has returned to media, then maybe there’s still a possibility of disco returning. At least, I can be hopeful for that.

Prezir have crafted a truly awesome album and you can check it out at the link below. And no, they’re not Nazis.

(8 Tracks, 40:00)

9/10

Purchase HERE (Bandcamp)

9.0

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