Provocator - Satan, Chaos, Blood and Terror - (8/10)
Published on February 10, 2018
Hellscream is one of the most active musicians in the Slovenian metal scene, with Chains and Bleeding Fist and a handful of other projects consistently releasing material. Provocator is another Hellscream project that started in 2012. The project’s debut album, Antikristus, which was relased in 2014, was flush full of good ideas, though execution and an extremely uneven mix left things severely lacking. The project’s second full length, the aptly titled Satan, Chaos, Blood and Terror, sees the addition of Kurgaall mainmain Lord Astaroth on vocals (which admittedly doesn’t change much up in that department).
Thankfully, the uneven mix and terrible production of the debut have been corrected. It’s still as filthy and grimy and as foul as can be, but it’s done correctly this go around by allowing the instruments and vocals to still be fully experienced: it’s just experienced through appropriate levels of murk and mire. Satan, Chaos, Blood and Terror merges the tough and unwavering chest thumping of the first wave and the triumphant fire and fury of the second wave with more than a dash of militant black/death war metal. A mix like that could go a bunch of different ways, but Provocator is able to bridge the three with an assault of buzzsaw tremolo riffing and rangy Hellhammer-esque swaggering. Some moments sound like they were ripped straight out of the Satanic Rites demo (not to forget the diabolical death grunt on “Satanic Storms of Mayhem”, ough) while others could be long lost Blasphemy demos, but Provocator sounds their strongest during the speeding, reckless moments of early Bathory worship like “Iron Horned Baphomet”.
While the production is certainly better than previous releases, this is still a raw and filthy homage to the days of yore. There’s no doubt that casual black metal listeners won’t be able to make it through the entire album, even with its short, twenty-six minute run time: but for those who enjoy their metal as dirty as it comes, Satan, Chaos, Blood and Terror is where it’s at. This is a really cool step forward for a project that stumbled from the get go. Miles ahead of their debut album, Provocator blends all that is vile and unholy in black metal and melts into one big cup of fuck off nowadays black metal. Take that for what it’s worth, but be warned this is a particularly foul entry in the annals of metal.