Black Pestilence – Hail The Flesh

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label: Self-released
Released: 2020
Buy Album: https://blackpestilence.bandcamp.com
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/blackpestilenceband/

Band line-up:

Daniel Toews – Guitar
Valax – Bass & Vocals
Davey Hellfire –Drums

Tracklisting:

1. Hail The Flesh
2. Spurn All Gods
3. Hellfire
4. True To The Dark
5. Cloven Division
6. Godless
7. Frauds To The Throne
8. My Will To Power
9. Ephemeral

Review:

Black Pestilence are a Canadian black metal band for fans of Toxic Holocaust, Impaled Nazarene, Municipal Waste and Cradle of Filth. Their sixth self-released album ‘Hail the Flesh’ will be released on May 1st, 2020. It has been in the works for a year and half and is their most polished and mature piece of work, since forming in 2008. The group have also filmed a total of four music videos in their career and have performed all over Canada and Europe. They’ve even shared the stage with acts such as The Black Dahlia Murder.

Band founder, bassist and vocalist Valax comments: “‘Hail The Flesh’ will be fast and chaotic. Lyrically for it, I talk about glorifying the carnal lifestyle and celebrating Earthly pleasures and indulgences. I am inspired by so many different avenues for lyrics. Without sounding too cliche, most of the lyrics are about Satanism, but not on a theistic level, just true, carnal, humanistic Satanism. Many other songs are also about social issues.”

First things first, it’s not every day you hear black metal as fun as this! That is partly because of the exciting thrash and not-so-serious punk influences, but also because the songwriting is very strong. The riffs are catchy and guitar/drum fills are used only in moderation and in places where more is needed, rather than places that are already busy. Blast beats are utilised, but not ALL the damn time! Sure the beats are pretty straightforward for the most part, but again, they only add to the good time feelings. This stuff isn’t intellectual prog.

The production is surprisingly polished for a BM band. Again, a far cry from what many will expect from ‘purer’ extreme metal artists. BP aren’t an ensemble who want their listeners to think too deeply about what they hear and if the tinny drums or fuzzy guitars/basses that you get in early versions of the genre mean anything. Rather they just ram their stuff down people’s throats. And is it really a crime if the instruments don’t sound like ass? I don’t think so. That’s not to say this album is without weaknesses, however. Whilst punk fans who are used to basic ideas that repeat a lot shouldn’t be put off at all by BP, others may think the band stick to their formula a little too much and don’t surprise enough.

In conclusion, this music does indeed sound like it’s celebrating Earthly pleasures rather than the musicians (think Dead from Mayhem) moaning about the planet all the time. Goal achieved! The fusing of genres is highly effective and doesn’t sound at all weird. When you consider the fact punks are known for being wild, hedonistic and crazy and black metallers are known for miserable, that’s kinda surprising. To be fair though, BM fans are known for being (a little too) crazy as well, so I guess that’s why the music works. I’m sure exact opposites would never be successful, e.g. ‘black pop’, but I digress. I really wanted to give this album 4.5 out of 5, but the lack of variety stopped me. Still, strongly recommended!

Review by Simon Wiedemann

 

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