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Pestilength - Basom Gryphos

Basom Gryphos
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 04 April 2022, 1:51 PM

In the year 2021, PESTILENGTH's sophomore album, “Basom Gryphos,” was recorded in August under the dome of Eclectic Studios and mixed & mastered by X. The eight new songs entwine a superlative maelstrom of unbeing, a built creature under the prism of M where textures of brutality and blasting incantations reflect on the cover art by Namurian Visions. The usual mix of Old English lyrics is still used in the album; such phonetics were also assisted by the lyrics on "Tephra Codex" with the collaboration of Portal's The Curator. In sum, a titanic and monstrous offering, PESTILENGTH's best aural torture. The album contains eight tracks.

“Tamm” opens the slaughter. Once the heavy riff drops, it’s clear that the band intends to maintain some raw, muddy, and muted production so that the album can stay within the confines of the early days of the genre. The vocals are unintelligible screams of sorts, but low in the register. “Engtlant Suhb” is more of the same…despondent and dissonant tones abound. It is also peppered with cymbal crashes more often than not. This quasi-instrumental (a few vocal grunts appear towards the end) is both dark and weighted.

“Phorme” is another heavy outing with what sounds like down-tuned guitars and some early meter shifting. They lay heavily on two riffs throughout the song that make it hypnotic in its delivery. “Thelegm” is a longer song that begins with a weighted riff that smacks of the coldness of the Underworld. The vocals are vile utterances that roll with the music and keep it moving. The riffs stretch out a bit around the half-way mark, coupled with cymbal crashes. “Tephra Codex” begins with a slow and devastating groove augmented with desolate vocals and a riff to match. The repeating riff grinds out like a stone cutter in a day’s work.

“Exertion” is also cold, dark, and torturous in its delivery. Grey skies gather and soon the canopy is black and winds start to swirl around. Gritty and muddy, it gathers steam towards the end and then fades out. “Chrome” is a shorter track but with no less vileness. Lead guitar breaks come in here and there, heavy with vibrato. The beast rises, only to be slain again and again as the cycle repeats. “Vexed” closes the album. It’s an ultra-heavy piece that features a moving riff done over and over again with vile vocals screams in the background. Fading out at the end, it’s a unilateral sound without much dynamism.

Nearly totally devoid of melody, this slab of Doom/Black Metal isn’t as interesting as I had hoped. Though the sound is very dark and thunderous, many of the songs sound very close to one another. One of two of these tracks might have been interesting, but over the course of eight, it just got old.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 5
Memorability: 3
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

1. Tamm
2. Engtlant Suhb
3. Phorme
4. Thelegm
5. Tephra Codex
6. Exertion
7. Chrome
8. Vexed
M – Guitar, Bass and Vocals
N – Drums & Percussion
Record Label: Nuclear Winter Records


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