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Pestilential Shadows – Revenant

Pestilential Shadows
by Ben Gardiner at 23 September 2021, 6:18 PM

Active since 2003, Australian Black Metal group PESTILENTIAL SHADOWS have had a long and successful career, now releasing their 6th full length album Revenant. Having survived for so long in this turbulent genre, one would expect a high level of quality and creativity, and they most certainly deliver. With its very high level of production, clean, impressive instrumental and amazing vocals, this album is a behemoth to be marvelled.

Foregoing the traditional Black Metal route of an eerie atmospheric intro, as we see on so many albums, the album burst into life immediately with “Procession of souls,” wasting no time before pummeling you with the brutal guitar tone and blasting drums. We are first introduced to the bodacious vocals with a deep, throaty growl, rumbling over the pounding toms and downtuned guitars. The song follows a natural progression of heaviness, getting heavier as the song goes in, introducing blast beats and quick tremolo playing. Halfway into the track the tone takes a deep turn, with a drumbeat focused purely on the toms and quick double bass, slowly but surely reintroducing the snare, meanwhile the guitars heavily contrast the tone of the drums with a much higher pitched riff line of constant tremolo. “Hunter and Reaper” begins more pulled back, a simplistic drum beat and slow heavy guitar, once again we are treated to singer Balam’s signature growl. Taking away from the intensity shown in the previous song allows them to stretch out more musically, with more contrasting sections and lots of different guitar sounds coming through.

Twilight Congregation” is highly anthemic, long drawn-out tremolo riffs underlined by incredibly clean, consistent blasts. The level of production shines through on this song, the vocal effect, pristine drum sound and atmospheric elements marking this as a highly technological Black Metal release, making it a highly accessible album for any listener. The song culminates in a wave of sound, impossibly high guitar, almost angelic guitar tones crashing against the blast beats and guttural vocals. The final and longest track of the album, “Beneath the Dying Stars” is a nine minute epic consisting of many differing sections, opening with a frenzied burst of music, and delving into deeply atmospheric waters, slowed down, stripped back emotive sections as well as descending back into the more brutal chaos. Here we get the full range of vocals, including a gripping spoken word section.

From the amazingly artistic album cover to the deep guitar tones and barrage of blast beats, this album oozes a refined darkness. At just 6 songs, each one is meticulously produced, ensuring a high quality of sound throughout, as well as impressive strong structures and interesting decisions that keep it sounding fresh and new and exciting. Loads of amazing riffs that are packed with melody, clean drumming that’ll make any drummer desperate to go practice their blast beat and an engaging vocal performance throughout, its an impactful, engaging Black Metal experience to be enjoyed by all.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Procession of Souls
2. Hunter and Reaper
3. Twilight Congregation
4. The Sword of Damocles
5. Revenant
6. Beneath the Dying Stars
Balam- Vocals, Bass
Basilysk – Drums
Decay - Guitar
Somnus -Guitar
Record Label: Seance Records


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Edited 03 December 2022

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