Pestilential Shadows: In Memoriam, Ill Omen

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By Ola Mazzuca

Pestilential, meaning ‘plague like’ or contagious, has to be the most fitting description for a band that brings infectious darkness. Who knew kangaroo loving, koala bear petting Australia could spawn cold, monarchical and obscure black metal? With a sound strongly reminiscent of Emperor’s Wrath of the Tyrant and low-fi musicianship of the early black metal scene, Pestilential Shadows prove that their third full-length release is a reasonable listen.

Considering black metal has quite a few, I believe that every musical sub-genre can bring forth various elements. PS is not gearing towards the pummeling, chaotic brutality of never ending blast beats and blistering guitar solos, but more towards a gloomy, drone tone paired with a relaxed tempo, heavily showcased on “Beautiful Demise”.

The album is so ambient that it puts you in quite the mindset. “With Serpents I Lay” really defines In Memoriam, Ill Omen displaying the true character of Pestilential Shadows, featuring an interlude of nearly nothing to catch up to a simple percussion pattern and classic screech vocals.

Although Pestilential Shadows do not consistently go to extremes with uber fast tempos and virtuoso techniques, I wouldn’t call them boring. You wouldn’t expect music on In Memoriam, Ill Omen to be created by four Australian dudes, ‘cause compared to the bright sun and hot climate they thrive in, there is no shortage of dusk on this album.

Rating: 6.5

(Pulverised)

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.