Profanatica // Crux Simplex // Album Review


The infamous masters of black perversion Profanatica have returned.

Rulers of the first-wave American black metal Profanatica are releasing their newest & their sixth album of pure black death metal filth.

Featuring the legendary Paul Ledney (Drums/Vocals), the band was birthed in 1990 through the ashes of the first Incantation lineup. Leaving with original members to create some of the most prolific demos & early releases within the death metal scene the band would unfortunately disband soon after.

In 2006 Ledney reformed the group & they released “The Enemy of Virtue”, a collection of that vaunted early material, and a new full-length, “Profanatitas de Domonatia”. Which quickly reignited the band & their loyal following.

Now in 2023 the band are releasing their newest ritual of agony within “Crux Simplex”. Ten tracks of pure armageddon!

A whirl of tortuous noise creeps open the album, “Condemned to Unholy Death” explodes with sheer force. As the track begins it’s true punishment. The harsh Profanatica sound is still present. Relentless blasting, dark, buzzing guitar tones & a thick, punchy bass tone radiates from the track.

Ledney’s vocals are as piercing as ever. After years in the scene his vocal style from Profanatica & Havohej is just so recognizable & just elevates the bands furious blackened sound.

The next track “Take Up the Cross” opens with a gut wrenching sound. The guitar riff is heavy & catchy but invokes feelings of dread & anguish.

Destroyer of Holy Hymen’s (Adam Besserer) guitar tone on this album is ungodly. A thick rich tone, somewhat reminiscent of the HM2 tone but feeling tighter with more attack. At loud volumes this sound is a true unstoppable force.

The great thing about Profanatica & their style of black metal is unlike the second wave or norwegian bands they don’t over play the high melodic tremolo riffing. They mix bludgeoning dark riffs with moments of high pitch lead style moments to create a great texture to the track.

“Wipe the Fucking Face of Jesus” might be the shortest track on the album but its a stand out. A straight grab for the throat this one. A superb guitar riff hooks you in. Also a bridge that feels chaotic with guitar tapping that sends your equilibrium in a spin. A tough as nails track that even with its quick run time leaves a great halfway point impression.

Closer “Division of Robes” is a crowning moment for the album. As  Ledney screams “Fuck youre weak flesh” the band begins the unrelenting warfare on the listener. It may be cliche but this track feels like a true journey into the band’s menacing underworld. A near seven minute opus if you will. There is no room here to breathe.

The mastering by the mighty Arthur Rizk gives this album a true prolific sound. As the track reaches the peak it slowly creeps into a great doomy, hypnotic venture. The use of ethereal samples bring the closing moments to the track & whole ambient feel. Choirs’ songs & beautiful brass sections really tie the album together. A true chaotic & primal album that also shows the beauty of the genre.

Profanatica’s impact on the black metal spectrum is unprecedented. They are a rare case of a band keeping a sound that they help create alive & well. “Crux Simplex” is a true force of nature & shows that some torch barriers’ flames never die out.

Joseph Mitchell

Crux Simplex is out via Season of Mist Underground Activists on 22nd September 2023

Listen for yourself on our YouTube channel, where Pronatica is streaming all of ‘Crux Simplex’ a few days ahead of its release.

Stream the album.

Track List:

1. Condemned to Unholy Death (4:38)

2. Take Up the Cross (3:01)

3. The First Fall (3:24)

4. Meeting of a Whore (3:02)

5. Compelled by Romans (4:47)

6. Wipe the Fucking Face of Jesus (2:20)

7. The Second Fall (2:40)

8. Cunts of Jerusalem (3:35)

9. The Third Fall (4:18)

10. Division of Robes (6:51)


Mayhemic Slaughter of the Heavens – Drums / Vocals

Destroyer of Holy Hymen – Guitar / Bass

PROFANATICA Make Jesus Weep on ‘Crux Simplex’
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Profanatica – ‘Crux Simplex’ (Official Album Stream) 2023

Profanatica hate God. The American black metal band have spit on everything holy since they were playing the backroom of Chinese restaurants alongside Gorophobia, Immolation and Incantation.

Led by drummer Paul Ledney, these heretics have wiped their ass with the Bible for 30+ years. They’ve hurled   everything from profanities to their own feces at the heavenly host (not to mention other, more nefarious bodily fluids).

This Friday, Profanatica are releasing their new album ‘Crux Simplex’. As you can see from the cover art, it’s so blasphemous, that you just might lose your head.

Listen for yourself on our YouTube channel, where Pronatica is streaming all of ‘Crux Simplex’ a few days ahead of its release.

Stream the album.

‘Crux Simplex’ is vile even by Profanatica’s lofty standards. The album takes things another step too far by mocking Jesus on the day of his crucifixion (talk about kicking someone when they’re down). Each song bastardizes a different station of the cross. “Take Up the Cross” ushers in a fresh plague of stain and sacrilege with Ledney’s rotten death growl, while “The First Fall” gives our precious lord and savior a good lashing with cymbals that clank like rusty chains. By the time “The First Fall” comes around, you can practically hear those blackened chainsaw guitars ripping the king of kings limb from limb.

“These 10 tracks represent the first 10 stations of the cross,” says Mayhemic Slaughterer of the Heavens Paul Ledney. “It took well over a year to create, and for all those who know us we consider it our gift  to you.”

‘Crux Simplex’ is out on this Friday, September 22 via Season of Mist. Pre-save the album HERE.  Pre-order it HERE.

Stream ‘Crux Simplex’
Pre-order ‘Crux Simplex’
This summer, Profanatica celebrated the coming of ‘Crux Simplex’ with their first-ever full-length tour of the U.S.

Watch their hateful headlining set at Indianapolis’ Heavy Hell IV Festival.

Profanatica @ Heavy Hell IV (Black Circle) August 12, 2023
01. Condemned to Unholy Death (4:38)
02. Take Up the Cross (3:01) [LISTEN]
03. The First Fall (3:24) [LISTEN]
04. Meeting of a Whore (3:02)
05. Compelled by Romans (4:47)
06. Wipe the Fucking Face of Jesus (2:20)
07. The Second Fall (2:40)
08. Cunts of Jerusalem (3:35)
09. The Third Fall (4:18) [LISTEN]
10. Division of Robes (6:51)

Total run-time: 00:36:76

Style: Black Metal
FFO: Sarcofago, Possessed, Necrovore, NME, Poison Idea

Photo by Aurora Daley

PROFANATICA are at the vanguard of the first wave of American black metal. Founded and led by infamous master of black perversion Paul Ledney (drums/vocals), they have purveyed primeval blasphemy for nigh on thirty-three years.
Ledney formed the band from the ashes of the first INCANTATION lineup when he split and took with him all of the members sans John McEntee. That early trio of ex-INCANTATION members reeled off three ground-breaking demos of some of the most extreme and blasphemic metal of its time in rapid succession. The band flyers that permeated the tape-trading circuit were no less shocking and featured the trio bloody and naked and in the throes of what was most certainly a primeval summoning of some kind. In short order, they had inked a deal with the fledgling Osmose Productions for what became one of that labels first releases (Osmose release #5); a legendary split with Colombia’s MASACRE.

Something so volatile could only last briefly, and after another brief recording session the band collapsed under the weight of its own extremity. but the recordings made in this two year window went on to see dozens of reissues in the coming decades, in a testament to how formidable and formative they are to the black metal scene worldwide.

After almost fifteen years spent with his equally polarizing solo project HAVOHEJ, Ledney reignited the flames of Profanatica in 2006. Reemerging with a new deal from Hells Headbangers, Ledney and his new band released ‘The Enemy of Virtue’, a collection of that vaunted early material, and a new full-length, ‘Profanatitas de Domonatia’. A triumphant return, ‘Profanatitas de Domonatia’ picked up right where these Kings of US Black Metal left off, delivering a savage stream of chainsaw guitars and relentless battery upon which they desecrated everything sacred.

This set-in motion another frenetic burst of work for Profanatica. The next decade saw them unleash four new full-length albums of blasphemous perversions, sacrilegious incantations, and furious black metal. In addition, the band issued six mini-albums and EP’s, a full DVD of early footage, and began touring internationally in Europe and in Central and South America. For the first time Profanatica were appearing near or at the top of the bill at festivals like MDF, Messe Des Mortes, Hells Headbash, Prague Death Mass (Czech Republic), Chaos Descends (Germany), Black Sun (Spain), Tyrant Fest (France), SWR Fest (Portugal) and many more.

In fall 2018, Profanatica joined forces with Season of Mist and undertook their biggest tour to date supporting WATAIN and ROTTING CHRIST across Europe. And a year later, the trio vomited forth a most vulgar strain of black metal ejaculate with their SoM debut album ‘Rotting Incarnation of God’.

The band embarked on an extensive twelve-country European headline tour in the album’s wake. Shortly after returning home that winter, the world ground to a halt in 2020. Save a live-streaming concert production for the legendary Rock al Parque in conjunction with BATUSHKA, little was heard from Profanatica.

That is until spring 2023, when Profanatica emerged from their den of iniquity on a European headline tour to promote a new album. ‘Crux Simplex’ is a ten-track offensive of sin and sacrilege, a nasty affront that bastardizes the first 10 stations of the cross. As per their legacy, Profanatica deals in bestial, first-wave black metal barbarity, and their eighth album unveils ungodly levels of bile and blasphemy.

Recorded at: Dead Lamb Studios

Mastered by: Arthur Rizk

Recording lineup
 Mayhemic Slaughter of the Heavens (drums/vocals)
– Destroyer of Holy Hymen (guitar/bass)

Touring lineup
– Mayhemic Slaughter of the Heavens (drums/vocals)
– Destroyer of Holy Hymen (guitar)
– The True Perversion of the Heavenly Father (bass)

Album artwork: Abomination Hammer



Available formats
Vinyl (Black)
Vinyl (Blue)
CD Digipack
Digital download


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