Label: Seance Records - SEANCE002 • Format: CD Album • Country: Australia • Genre: Rock • Style: Black Metal
Best viewed without Internet Explorer, in x resolution or higher. Australian black metal underground has been bustling for the past few years, offering a lot of high quality filthiness in the forms of e.
The drums, although somewhat and only slightly plastic sounding, keep the pace steadily with Tribulations Of Man - Pestilential Shadows - Depths beats, while guitars retain their ominous melodies. Short passages of acoustic guitars and even choirs e.
There are times when Depths Tribulations Of Man - Pestilential Shadows - Depths to be a little stagnant, but those moments are few and far between, so for the most part Depths is a really enjoyable experience, and takes its place somewhere among my current top 10 of the year.
Without the heavy use of synthesizers and symphonic components that Tribulations Of Man - Pestilential Shadows - Depths usually infused for this effect, Pestilential Shadows pull off and show that they have a tendency to put emphasis on atmosphere. Soon lapsing into slow passages with hushed vocals in the background, they show Go Ahead, Shoot Me - James Newton Howard - The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 (Original Motion Pic their creative ability is at its finest, and they in no way do this to seem pseudo-artistic.
These slower passages are dominated by clean guitars and gently sway along before going into tremolo-picked riffs that once again bring about a dark atmosphere and chilling, cold tones.
With the guitars strumming along in the foreground, rasped vocals and intense, ample howls are put forth by the vocalist to create an even more impacting effect on the listener. The sorrowful vocals go along perfectly with the guitars, which also tend to be melancholic and mournful. Occasionally they also make use of lower growls as well, adding variation. The drums are also further back in the mix, and they usually alternate between blast beats and fantastic double bass work.
After the last song is over, Pestilential Shadows bear a lasting effect on the listener. This would be their best produced album, definitely not as dirty or lo-fi sounding as the previous three, meaning you get to appreciate all the instruments equally. Most of this work is surely created by Desolate who is no Dreamland Dub - Basilisk* - Ektoplazms Greatest Trips (File) to the tragic style.
Other members Balam and Wraith have many strings to their bows too as a quick search will reveal. Thankfully most songs are quite lengthy giving them time to expand and none of them have a standard structure with many riffs, effects and time changes in each.
If you are lucky you will get the limited edition digipak with some very nice artwork on the panels and booklet. The band images are mysterious and so are the lyrics, literally! They are scrawled across the page Tribulations Of Man - Pestilential Shadows - Depths thin script making them fairly unreadable.
If you've never before been exposed to Pestilential Shadows, then you might be in for somewhat of a treat, as the band is comprised of members of the brilliant Nazxul, whose last album Iconoclast En El Futuro - Parade - Intonarumore hands down the greatest symphonic black metal album to hail from the continent of Australia.
But the similarities are more than skin deep, because one could argue that this band was the same entity, minus the heavy use of synthesizers, but nearly as epic in atmosphere.
Pestilential Shadows focus fully on the mood created by the driving guitar chords, and Depths sees the band at their best to date.
They've got a knack for using familiar sounding note progressions and putting just enough passion behind them that they feel fresh and adventurous. It sets the tone for about the entire album, followed by the similar, glorious sadness of "Tribulations of Man", but the Australians also pick up speed through "Choirs Beyond the Blackened Stars" and the ravaging "Architects of the Spear".
The brooding ambient passage that opens "Shrine" gives way to the most majestic piece here, and I'm also taken with the drifting sadness that is "Putrid Earth". Depths is quite good, but it's the sort of dreamlike, wide open good that might take some level of absorption and attention that one is not used to when listening through black metal records. The tones here are quite rich, repetitive, fully realized and cognizant of their weight upon the listener. It reminds me slightly of the band Altar of Plagues, or perhaps fellow Australians Austere Desolate having been in that bandbut with a more accessible overall aesthetic, and less tortured vocals.
I've listened to most of the band's prior output, but have never been grasped as easily as I was here, nor as effectively. It's not perfect, and it's certainly not intricate, but the manifestation of crestfallen miasma lurking in the shadows of the guitars here are nothing if not welcome ghosts.
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