In a lot of ways, Proclamation are very similar to many Top 40 Pop and Rock acts, usually groups who Proclamation fans despise to the point of irrational hatred. But the similarities are very striking: like say… Beyonce(or whatever), Proclamation have delivered pretty much the same album over and over again with predictable vigor to a fan base that has no desire for them to change. Each individual song follows predictable, easily digestible paths to fairly standard conclusions, and offer few if any surprises along the way. And each album sticks closely to the well defined boundaries and standards set by the fan base, never seeking to challenge them in any way. Sure, while Beyonce produces Pop-y R&B and Proclamation produce what essentially boils down to busy Blackened static drenched noise, at their most base levels the two artists are doing pretty much the same thing.
Nether Tombs Of Abaddon, the fourth full length of similar material from these Spaniards, is a relatively safe and lifeless affair through and through, and sees Proclamation fall into a self-imposed state of perpetual non-creativity. Fact of the matter is, Proclamation’s shtick has worn damn thin: sure it was fun at first, listening to a band so full of piss and vinegar, spewing Satan-praising vomit from every orifice and taking gleeful joy in disposing of posers. It might not have been original, but when Proclamation first reared its deformed visage from the abyss, the whole Bestial Black Metal Revival was just starting to hit its stride. With the unholy semen of Blasphemy and Conqueror flowing through their veins, Proclamation made good on their promise of playing only the most mindless, ugly shit they could bang out. And as I said, it was fun… for a while.
But Nether Tombs Of Abaddon isn’t any fun at all, largely because listening to it gives me nothing but an endless sense of deja-vu. And not even in a purely album-to-album sense, as some songs on Nether Tombs Of Abaddon sound exactly the same, making distinguishing solely on sound much more challenging. It doesn't help that the production is mostly gutless and thin, as this would likely sound better with a more full-throated production and a stronger bass sound, instead of just drenching a thin production sound in copious levels of reverb and calling it a day. So what we get with Nether Tombs Of Abaddon is a lot of anger and speed... and that's it. This would be fine if Proclamation were that much more aggressive and nasty then their counterparts... but they aren't. Frankly, Prosanctus Inferi, Black Witchery and Impious Baptism offer far more blasphemous belching for your dollar, and I would recommend any of those groups albums over Nether Tombs Of Abaddon.
I haven't been kind to Nether Tombs of Abaddon in this review, but in an effort for full disclosure, I must admit that I still enjoy it. I just love this sound and this genre, and Proclamation are able performers who don't lack for passion or hatred. But with so many similar acts doing this sound better, and with so many acts pushing the boundaries of the genre in new directions, Nether Tombs of Abaddon feels lost in Purgatory: not nasty enough or interesting enough to move onto a higher(or lower) plane. If you are a hardcore fan of Ross Bay Cult-style bands and cannot get enough of Blasphemy, then Nether Tombs of Abaddon will no doubt sate your unholy hunger. But those among us who have heard this song and dance before, Nether Tombs of Abaddon serves only as a distraction on the side of a long, barren road. Stop for a moment and enjoy... then jump back in the car and move on.