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Ptahil - "For His Satanic Majesty’s Glory" (CD)

Ptahil - "For His Satanic Majesty’s Glory" CD cover image

"For His Satanic Majesty’s Glory" track listing:

1. The Great Satan (5:10)
2. For His Satanic Majesty's Glory (5:20)
3. The Black Fire (4:08)
4. Lilitu (4:37)
5. Regards Foreman Exu (3:14)
6. The Black Flag Of Total Death (4:44)
7. Deathwish (4:45)
8. World Ablaze (4:08)
9. The Gate To The Kliphotic Anti-World (9:04)

Reviewed by on November 27, 2011

"There is nothing clean or fun-loving about this record; just a one-sided discussion about following Lucifer into battle and worshipping at his blood-stained feet."

The dark, mystical allure of Satan has haunted the dreams of many for thousands of years. Any mention of his presence seems like ripe picking for a belligerent group of musicians looking to cause trouble. Ptahil may come from Indiana, but they seem to hold him on a pedestal throughout “For His Satanic Majesty’s Glory.” With words so evil, the music must be a suitable backdrop. Ptahil complies with a sound that is equal parts doom, death, and black metal.

Ptahil is a band with solidarity between two musicians, who each hold equal weight. This is not the case of a member doing most of the work, while the other member just does the minimum on one instrument. Luathca and Mhaghnuis split vocal duties and the instrumental work, marking a true partnership. It’s this type of closeness that develops into several harrowing moments, where the album almost buckles under its own intense blasphemy.

There isn’t much messing around with “For His Satanic Majesty’s Glory,” as heard on the opening cut “The Great Satan.” The title alone speaks for the entire album, as the band heads out on a low-fi death march. The riffs lack variety, but the tempos shifts are handled well enough to not be a problem. The few leads on the title track and “Lilitu” are played with reckless joy, though sloppy in execution.

The instrumental piece of the record isn’t much to get excited over, and thankfully is not the sole trait to Ptahil. The dual vocals are what the band takes great pride in. Raspy shouts will draw comparisons to Absu’s Proscriptor McGovern and growls are aggressive enough to scare an oncoming rabid Doberman away. There’s even an occasional falsetto belted out, as well as an eerie spoken word passage near the end of “The Gate To The Kliphotic Anti-World.”

Tempting with atmospheric traits leads to uneven results for Ptahil. “Deathwish” is driven by one killer riff slammed into the ground, with a minute-plus fade-out that seems more like padding. Speaking of padding, “Regards Foreman Exu” does not build on its great start. A slow, foreboding mood in the first minute has no traction in the long run, and ends just as the pace quickens. The band is in sync with unfettered destructive whims like “The Black Fire” and “World Ablaze.”

The evil is strong with Ptahil on their debut album “For His Satanic Majesty’s Glory.” The pair commits to their beliefs, without appearing to be gimmicky in their stance. There is nothing clean or fun-loving about this record; just a one-sided discussion about following Lucifer into battle and worshipping at his blood-stained feet. It takes liberties with its sound that stumble more than necessary, but Ptahil puts up an impressive display with the temptful “For His Satanic Majesty’s Glory.”

Highs: Suitable blend of many different genres of metal, evil as hell, a duo that shares equal footing in the creation of the album

Lows: A lack of variety in the riffs, sloppy playing, odd songwriting choices

Bottom line: "For His Satanic Majesty’s Glory" is an enjoyable romp through blasphemy and unholy worshipping.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)