Profaned – Surreal Existence (Self-Released)

Thursday, 18th February 2021
Rating: 8.5/10

Starting out of a love for dramatic, melodic heavy metal, Swedish duo Profaned consists of multi-instrumentalist Henrik Wesström and vocalist Thomas Clifford (Throne of Heresy, Abscession). Beginning last year, they released an initial single “Prisoner of the Mind” that received good response, setting the stage for the three song EP Surreal Existence. These tracks combine a love for solid power and doom riffs with finesse, bite, and darkness – befitting the emotional and heavy nature discussed in their bio sheet.

Henrik lays down a firm guitar foundation and then builds out the bass, keyboard, and drum segments – the hooks simple and effective, logically blending together the ideal anticipation and haunting aspects of the music. “The End of Eden” may start with quieter clean ambiance before the electricity builds – setting up something one would expect from Nevermore into a Morgana Lefay meets Paradise Lost roller coaster ride, the choppy riffs transitioning into a mid-tempo catchy refrain for Thomas to rise to the heavens in melodic splendor. Closer “Enigmatic” that pays tribute to World War II hero Alan Turing as a doom-laden ballad serves notice that Profaned can tackle any dynamic in their metal platform – the moving piano/guitar sequences setting Thomas up again for a proper emotional delivery from his soul. The favorite of the three for this scribe is “Prisoner of the Mind” – the keyboard intro leading to some Candlemass meets Nevermore-ish riffs, Thomas using softer voicing in the verses then branching out into some eerie clean passages and a powerhouse chorus that includes some Halford-esque upper register screams. Add in small guitar breaks and solid production values and the only disappointment lies in the fact that in just over 13 minutes, you are left wanting even more.

Alerting us of at least two more albums worth of material in the pipeline, Profaned have a bright future ahead of them. For those who like a heavier side to their power/doom metal and dramatic lyrical content/singing to match, you will be very pleased to headbang and devour these songs.

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