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Review: Pestilential Shadows - In Memoriam, Ill Omen
Pestilential Shadows
In Memoriam, Ill Omen

Label: Pulverised Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 44:16
Tracks: 8
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: October 11, 2009
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
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Rated 3.08/5 (61.54%) (13 Votes)

This is the third album of Black Metal orthodoxy from Australian band Pestilential Shadows. Not being familiar with their older works, I was expecting a slavish exercise in second-wave Black Metal. That is pretty much what I got, but what I did not expect is how awesome this sounds. Anything on Pulverised is worth listening to, and this album proves that execution is everything.

The first thing that hits you about this is the production – which I would call pretty much the perfect recording job for this kind of Black Metal. It's raw and murky, while still maintaining a lower end presence and a certain fullness of sound that makes it seem very analog and also very old. This shit sounds like it was recorded in an evil crypt of black magic about three hundred years ago, and yet it still maintains a good separation of sounds in the mix and a clarity that allows for a good bit of melody in the works. Normally I like a sharper, nastier guitar sound, but the sound here just works in every way. The sound will get your attention, but the compositions will hold it. Pestilential Shadows are better songwriters than a lot of so-called musicians, and their music is never aimless or trite. Dynamic arrangements speed up, slow down, and twist through mazes of ice and horror. The acoustic and even piano interludes they throw in here and there just gild the already involving songwriting. Vocals are an expected raspy croak, but they have an edge that gives them real conviction.

This thing just oozes evil atmosphere from every black riff, and it creates a real feeling of Dark Ages misanthropy and darkness. Fans of second-wave Black metal should not skip the arcane joys of this album. Recommended.

More about Pestilential Shadows...
Review: Revenant (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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