Originally formed in 2008 by bassist and vocalist Valax, BLACK PESTILENCE has grown with the addition of members Daniel Toews (Guitar) and Davey Hellfire (Drums). On reading their description of themselves as black metal ‘n’ roll, my interest was piqued and I had to give them a listen. I thoroughly enjoyed their upcoming release Hail the Flesh and here’s why.
In terms of their sound, it is very similar toIMPALED NAZARENE, so much so that I had to check it wasn’t midway through the album. This isn’t to say it’s derivative or even a bad thing, I loved IMPALED NAZARENE’sAll That You Fear and anything that can evoke the same feeling gets a thumbs up from me.
Opening with a dirty bassline almost resembling some kind of surf rock, Hellfire is perhaps my favourite song of this offering. It provides a concert-esque feeling that is sorely lacking at this moment in time. The call and response nature of the chorus is I think makes this the most fun track on the album, and that seems odd in a way. The bulk of this release seems to take itself quite seriously but this almost has shades of levity to it. But I’m likely just projecting because I miss gigs.
My Will To Power is an odd track to begin with, it starts with and then introduces some high pitched almost bent notes before playing a faster bit utilising that new range. I’m not sure if I like that. I think it’d certainly be lacking something without them and the song would not feel as cohesive but the rest of it flows very well.
This is until it almost stops dead leaving a few seconds of silence before the final track Ephemeral fades in with roaring, feedback, almost engine like sounds before the drums roll and the music takes on an almost hopeful tone. But this is rapidly counterbalanced with Valax’s vocals which causes the song to take on an almost twisted emotional time which I think is fair for a song that is discussing the ephemerality of life, and mirrors the strange emotional situations we may find ourselves in along the way. There’s a short and expertly played solo that feels a little low in the mix but I think that that’s actually a good thing. If it were too prominent, it would be jarring to the listener and stand out in stark contrast to the rest of the album.
I have to say again I really like this release and will be looking further into the bands previous five albums. Hectic and outrageous, this is definitely a must for any IMPALED NAZARENE or TOXIC HOLOCAUST fan, employing the best bits of both in one seamless monstrosity of a product.
For these reasons I feel that this album deserves a solid 7/10 just for the music. However, to build on concepts and themes I’m already familiar within this style of music it earns itself a pretty solid 9/10.
Words: Jacob McCrone
Hail The Flesh will be unleashed this Friday.
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