To accurately translate the labyrinthine assemblage of sounds that make up Praxis would take more hyphens than even the most genre-specific record store would be willing to accommodate on its display signage. One of the constants in that musical maze is Praxis’ jarringly fluid melding of funk with metal, mostly courtesy of guitarist Buckethead. Metal wins out as the predominant theme on Profanation, as announced by the opening riffs of “Caution,” which trades off between thrashing chords and classic shred; pounding drums, funky turntable interludes, and heavily processed vocals fill the voids. “Furies” blends slow-chugging riffs and swirling atmospherics into a feeling of creeping oppression. Coupled with low-slung and deeply menacing vocals from Iggy Pop (one of many guest vocalist spots), it’s one of the album’s standouts. “Galaxies” is another gem, with Killah Priest providing the perfect voice for funky, orchestral hip-hop. It’s also a respite of sorts from the rest of the songs’ metallic bent. Hip-hop as palate cleanser. “Endtime” closes things out with an atmospheric take on romantic metal, lush and lovely, with an undercurrent of bravado that keeps it from feeling out of place. Dense and sometimes difficult, the entirety of Profanation is not for everyone, but anyone can find something here.
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