Thursday, November 6, 2014


Western Canadian black metal collective Ross Bay Cult have a guiding philosophy on their approach to black metal: they are at war. All of RBC's members are decked out in camo, bullet belts, combat boots, and war paint. The bands in the RBC include genre legends Blasphemy, the newly unearthed and revisited Antichrist, Chile's Wrathprayer, Spain's Proclamation, and Conqueror along with affiliates Black Witchery & Revenge. If Blasphemy took it upon themselves to be the Bolshevik-type revolutionaries and Proclamation were the Visigoth-like barbarians, Conqueror were the Black September of the RBC.

Conqueror, formed by RBC founder Ryan Forster and Revenge founder James Read, were only around briefly from 1994 to 1997. In that time the band was an actual force. Violent, oppressive, and dominated by sheer will. The band released two demos, Anti-Christ Superiority & Annihilate. Only one was released before the band's demise. In 1998, Annihilate was released followed by the release of the band's legendary full-length War Cult Supremacy in 1999.

Conqueror existed more as an acoustic abstraction than a music project. They never played a show. The lion's share of their music was released after they broke up. They did not identify themselves as Satanic or Pagan like a lot of black metal bands do. Instead they identified as Superions. A Superion, according to Read is "the quintessential command for triumph." This belief is a callback to the RBC's call to war. Expanding on it, Read also abandons the black metal stereotype of embracing Satan or Biblical villainy. He says he does not care about LaVey and regard those who refer to the Bible in any capacity as inferior people. This viewpoint is fascinating as it is a clear rejection of everything black metal is purported to be by both its constituents and critics. Conqueror's end was not because of a murder or some insane mendacity concocted on the internet. The band simply ended because Read moved away. For as straight forward as the band itself was, it is appropriate how straight forward their ending was.

On what Conqueror sounds like, Read says "fans of melodic music don't waste your money... fans of profound poetic lyrics don't waste your money". Conqueror is one of the best death metal bands. The disgusting progeny of Necrovore following the tutelage of Blasphemy. What was true for Conqueror would become true for Revenge. Conqueror are one of the best black metal (or death metal, depending if you want to nitpick) bands ever.

Included are both demos and the War Cult Supremacy album.

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