Burn In Hell’s ‘Cathedral’ cuts away at Australia’s Christian identity

Sydney’s Burn In Hell place the Christian church’s deep oppression and ruling status quo influence over Australia in their cross-hairs with the scorching, pointed heaviness of ‘Cathedral.’

Australia’s image to the rest of the world and many of its own citizens is that of a welcoming and carefree place. This is equal parts true and also a gross facade. This country is beautiful but it has its fair share of blind nationalism, racism and ingrained power structures that maintain the status quo like any other Western nation built atop the suffering of First Nations peoples. Chief among that ruling class influence is the church and the role that religion plays in Australia. Remember: Prime Minister Scott Morrisson is a devote Hillsong follower and benefactor. Remember: in the 2018 national census, 12 million Australians identified as Christian, 86 per cent of religious demographic Down Under.

Previous song ‘Bleach‘ was a no-holds-barred, death metal-infused metallic hardcore attack by Burn In Hell upon white supremacists and their slowly but surely growing foothold in Australian subculture. (There’s a great paper by Benjamin Philip Hillier and Ash Barnes about rising extreme right-wing ideologies in black metal, and the danger to normalise those symbols and rhetoric in music, where people’s guard can be down. There’s also an insightful interview with the two researchers with Blunt Mag from earlier in the year that goes further into that topic and what’s to be done about it. Because it’s happening.)

However, for their latest examination of punishing sonic brutality, ‘Cathedral,’ Burn In Hell takes aim at that structure of Christian institutions here in Australia. Their many hypocrisies, oppressions, lies, and constant harbouring of abusers and paedophiles. ‘Cathedral‘ specifically talks about the stranglehold grip that the infesting customs of Christianity have placed around the neck of equality movements, slowing the winds of change. Though Burn In Hell isn’t defeatist about this ongoing fight: “stone can’t hold the stem of reasonMarcus Tamp bellows, shortly followed by “Women more than mothers, sexuality more than sin” as he describes the changing tides. The glacial-paced but ultimately welcomed death of traditionalism and organised religion.

“Growing up in the church you’re somewhat blinded and brainwashed to the true oppressive nature that comes from the governing bodies which trickles down to the local Christian communities. Over the past few decades, the majority of our countries Prime Minister have identified as Christian and have brought their Christian “values and morals” with them, further intertwining religion and state. A lot of this record focuses on the hypocrisy and disgusting postures held by the leaders of the corporate church and this country, and how we continuously build oppressive systems to further the divide making gender, queer and racial liberation almost impossible.” -Marcus Tamp

A burly two-minute ride, ‘Cathedral‘ is. Ride-bell abusing and china cymbal-smacking percussive savagery persists, as does the gut-churning, HM2-bathed chugging guitars that whip up a fierce storm behind Marcus‘ distorted full-chest screams. It’s familiar but solid chest-beasting stuff for this kind of metal and hardcore. But what really elevates it is the real-world issues that it’s not afraid to stand up against and address. Something tells me that this band smiles to see churches around Canada burning in the wake of some extremely grim but sadly unsurprising discoveries.

Burn In Hell’s new seven-track, ‘Disavowal of the Creator God,’ is set to steamroll over social injustices come Friday, August 6th via Reason And Rage Records. You know what to do:

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