Journey to the Center ov Satan with A.M.S.G. on Hostis Universi Generis


WARNING: This review contains the word “saxophone”.

A.M.S.G. (Ad Majorem Satanae Gloriam) would like to take you on a journey. It is not a journey you want to go on. Like the unwitting protagonist in any Lovecraft tale, you will see things you do not want to see, learn things you do not want to learn, and be left with no choice but to believe things you do not want to believe . . . about Satan.

How do you prefer your Satan? Brittle, distant, encased in frost? Pouring forth from whorls of flames and molten flesh? Gulping from a chalice of goat’s blood atop a throne of human spines? Over medium with cracked black pepper and Cholula? A.M.S.G. don’t trifle with some anthropomorphic Dark One meddling villainously in petty human affairs. No, their nebulous brand of Satanism is played out across the Cosmos, on a universal scale. On such a scale, Satan is interested in man’s undoing only insofar as it plays a small and inevitable part in the undoing of Creation Itself.



Remember the disclaimer on the back cover of Emperor’s Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk? “Emperor performs Sophisticated Black Metal Art exclusively!” At the time I bought the album I found this bragging to be silly; I was not well-versed enough in the wide world of black metal to understand why it was necessary for Emperor to tell us this before we could make up our own minds and ears. I’m still not sure it was. But at this point it is inarguable that, while they existed, Emperor pursued a sort of High Black Metal: as refined and elegant as it was blistering, striking an optimum balance between melody, grimness and aggression. On sophomore album Hostis Universi Generis, A.M.S.G. achieve something similar, although of course they walk their own twisted branch of the Left Hand Path. There is something regal about their sense of melody; something epic in their compositional scope. Album opener “The Exodus of All Life” is the strongest song on the album, and as such a shining example of everything A.M.S.G. do right. We begin with some eerie soundscapery and multifarious whispering; an ornate melodic motif is introduced by a clean guitar, supported by ritualistic percussion; the motif is transmuted to a new harmonic register in a blast of savagery, reinforced by distorted guitars, bass and unrestrained drumming. At just the perfect moment, the pace shifts and a second melodic motif appears, catchy, almost sweet to the ear. Long before it can wear out its welcome, it explodes into a plasma shower of tremolos and blastbeats, over which a gargled-acid voice orates prayers for some Great Cosmic Undoing. Before the disorder becomes suffocating, the drums drop to a patient beat underneath some beautiful atmospheric keyboards. Around the midpoint, the song burns down to mere embers, just in time for one of those movie samples the band adores so much (seriously, you can’t swing a dead cat around this album without hitting a movie sample). Tension builds anew with the reintroduction of one of the main melodic themes, the blasting returns, the oration is resumed, everything fusing together under pressure akin to that of neighbor galaxies smashing into one another; an abrupt climax is reached, after which nothing remains.

The first two-thirds of the album are packed tight with such deft compositional fanfare. It is during the final third where A.M.S.G. succumbs to fatigue and finally falters. “The Perpetual Dance of Existence and Demise” is structurally sound, yet contains no highly memorable hooks or compelling riffs. And closer “Astral Projections of Lucifer” is a pleasant, mostly measured comedown from the mayhem which precedes it–but, like a shitty boyfriend, it drags on way too long without ever bothering to take us anywhere interesting or show us anything new. A.M.S.G. could have cut the song in half without sacrificing any quality. I can only assume it stretches on so long because vocalist Angelfukk Witchhammer (zoiks!) has sooooooo much left to say about Satan, none of which could have been summarized in anything less than fourteen minutes.

For all Hostis Universi Generis’s attention to detail, flirtations with total chaos abound. Many of the riffs are in odd time signatures, such as the precarious 5/4 or the only-for-adepts 7/4. At such times drummer Bzath (bzwhatnow?) seems to discard the notion of marking the time in favor of blasting at whatever pace he finds comfortable. Meanwhile, Mr. Witchhammer likewise ignores whatever it is the rest of his band is doing in order to spew his toilet-EQ litanies with delirious abandon, i.e. with no discernible sense of cadence or phrasing. Here is an imaginary transcript of a conversation that took place in the A.M.S.G. rehearsal space during the writing of the album:

Bzath: Nah, man, I didn’t learn that time-signature at drum school so while you prog tools go off on your time wankery, I’ll be here blasting, and, uh . . . I guess we’ll meet up in the future somewhere?

Angelfukk: I never cared about any of you. I’m going to gurgle a bunch of Satanic shit into this microphone now.

Rest of band: *shrugs collectively, starts ripping*

Which brings us to the saxophone, I guess–because I promised there would be talk of saxophone. By the end of this album, many of you will be thinking Thank fuck there wasn’t all that much saxophone, while some others–those of you with brain-damage or perpetual boners for anything even vaguely avant-garde–will be thinking Aw shucks, I wish there was more saxophone. The instrument only appears a few times, in moments of quietude, squawking out solos while the rest of the band catch their breath, crack their knuckles and grab some beers in preparation for MAXIMUM SATAN. In a way, the pithy smattering of sax cameos, while enjoyable, only raises the question of why there is any sax at all. Wait–I know why. Because A.M.S.G. have heard the clarion call echoing across this disgusting planet, resounding in the hearts and minds of the most extreme individuals this abysmal species has ever produced:



3.5/5 Toilets ov Hell


Hostis Universi Generis is out July 29th on Profound Lore Records. Trade Satanic recipes with A.M.S.G. here. Donate to the Glory ov Satan here.

(Photo via)

Did you dig this? Take a second to support Toilet ov Hell on Patreon!
  • Richter, I dunno if I’ve ever told you this, but you are real, real good at reviewing shit.

  • I’m really looking forward to this one. Here’s a really great interview with AngelFukk Witchhammer. Some really intense stories about his time in prison.

    • Abradolf Lincler

      im super excited about this as well.

      there is also a NS tinge with AMSG too

      • Well, yeah. That’s not really a big surprise. Ouroboros did have a big Swastika on their one album cover which was released through Satanic Skinhead Propaganda.

        • Abradolf Lincler

          yeah in the liner nte thank yous for my copy of The Forbidden Transformation, he throws out a hail to “all black metal skinheads”

          • That’s in a lot of the war-metal albums from Canada. It’s in one Revenge album (Can’t remeber which one) and Conqueror’s”War Cult Supremacy”. Blasphemy reference that too, although I believe they are the ones that coined that phrase.

          • Abradolf Lincler

            Basically just a real racist way of saying this album is going to be legit

          • I don’t think it’s a racist thing, even though it’s really does come off that way. There is a Blasphemy interview somewhere (I’ll have to dig it up) which explains it. Still edgy as all fuck, which they obviously were going for. remember that Blasphemy does have a black guitar player too.

          • So does the KKK. (He doesn’t play guitar tho).

          • Yeah, I hear ya man. Once you label yourself that way, it’s going to be nothing but trouble down the road unfortunitly. I doubt they are racist either; they play with a shit ton of South American bands all the time. Mystifier being the big one and they are like best friends so… I don’t know.

          • OTOH, I know skinhead isn’t *explicitly* a Nazi thing, apparently some punks just like having shaved heads and intimidating boots.

            On the other other hand, NSBM and NS hardcore bands almost certainly have some overlap in scenes and audience so… Bleh. I dunno.

          • Yeah, it’s all pretty dumb either way.

          • Abradolf Lincler

            Yeah I mentioned blasphemy in the s*** post extravaganza the other week

            I just don’t think we should kid ourselves and really I think they should just own up

            If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck

          • Here’s that interview. Just do a search for “Skinhead”.

        • Farts In A Maggot Factory

          Same guys who did “Glorification Of A Myth”, or different band?

          • No, the original Ouroboros. See the video I posted on Stan’s comment.

          • Farts In A Maggot Factory

            Whoops, saw it after I posted that comment. :-p

    • Stanley

      Well, that’s an interesting read.

    • Dagon

      Someone should do a a chart of when/where porn stars and metal musician aliases collide.

    • I’m not saying he’s lying about his experiences in Canadian prison. I’m just saying that it seems difficult to believe that he saw ten people killed.

      • Dagon

        Gee. That would have been a swell time in a Brazilian prison, assuming he didn’t die from pneumonia, food poisoning or shiv wounds before being able to tell the story.

        • Farts In A Maggot Factory

          Or die in one of the deadly prison riots they have every two weeks or so.

      • Stockhausen

        My only perception of Canadian prison is from Trailer Park Boys, and based on that I would assume he just high all the time.

      • Yeah, no clue man. Entertaining read nonetheless.

  • Stanley

    Thanks for the saxophone warning, Richter, I’ve played the two songs that they have up on bandcamp a few times and I don’t recall hearing any saxophone. Now with piece of mind, I won’t bother listening to the others. Squawking’s for the birds.

  • Guppusmaximus

    How could they ruin such a pleasant & passionate acoustic intro on ‘Broken Chains…’ with that Black Metal crap?!

  • RJA

    Richter, fantastic review – as Joe said below you are a fine writer.
    Did they get Gibby Haynes for the part starting about 1:30 – all I could think about!

  • Dagon

    I can now always tell when it’s a Richter review, which is a good thing. You have a unique voice, as do most of the great writers in this blog – myself excluded.

    The Emperor bit turned this into a release I must check out. I’ll probably be in the “gib more sax ploz” camp.

  • Howard Dean

    This is an album about which I will say, “This is going to be a good album.”

    A.M.S.G. is the second best “Satanic Latin Acronym” band (after S.V.E.S.T., of course).

    Also, “Anthems…” was an album about which I will say, “Anthems… is a really good album.”

    • Dagon

      I think I actually prefer Anthems over In The Nightside Eclipse.

      • Abradolf Lincler

        tough call. im also a fanboy and like every release

      • Howard Dean

        I like both a great deal. Emperor gets a little flatulent after those two, but still listenable.

        My favorite Emperor is the “Wrath of the Tyrant” demo. Shit was raw and brutal. Actually scary sounding black metal on that demo. From the same show as above, here they are performing one of my favorite Emperor songs from that demo:

        • Howard Dean

          Here’s the demo version. Awesome:

        • Dagon

          I listened to their discography in reverse, starting with Prometheus.

          Anthems was the first to truly click, so maybe that’s why I seem to like it more.

        • Abradolf Lincler

          To think they were uber young during the recording of the Wrath of the tyrant and in the Nightside eclipse

        • Owlswald

          Nightside Eclipse was my gateway to Emperor but The Lost and Curse of Reverance helped me like them on a whole other level. I remember watching the video and getting hooked. Same goes for Nemesis Divina & Mother North video.

      • Farts In A Maggot Factory

        I think Sons Of Northern Darkness was Emperor’s best one. 😉

        • Hans Müller

          I only like the stuff from before Gaahl joined.

      • Howard Dean

        Always be teasin’.

        P.S. I was tan as fuck for that speech. Just got back from Cabo with Sammy Hagar.

        • You look good af for your age

          • Howard Dean

            Thanks. Tequila shots, heavy metal, chasing Spring Break tail with the OG’s of the DNC… byah-ing ain’t easy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • Stockhausen

    Finally spizzining this, though I’ve been hearing good things. This review perfectly sums up what I think so far, although I would say more squawksaphone because brain damage.

    • Dagon

      *uncontrollable drooling*

    • More squawksaphone might have tipped it toward a 4-toilet rating.

  • Farts In A Maggot Factory

    “Where will you be when diarrhea strikes?”

    That said, this is pretty fucking good!

  • Hans Müller

    Not super keen on the music, but I do like the transformation that Satan went through during this review. Is MAXIMUM SATAN even his final form? Find out on the next episode.

    As expected, you did another fine job here Richter, and I need to finally get on some of that Emperor lest I get flushed.

  • I liek dis

  • JWEG
  • Guacamole Jim

    Hilarious review, very enjoyable read. Gotta say, I absolutely despise drummers who play in “odd times” by blasting over everything. Learn to count; it’s your fucking job. Music is pretty interesting though. Feeling the Satan this morning.

  • Leif Bearikson


  • Waynecro

    I really like your reviews, Richter. Super-fine writing as always!