Pestilent Grave
"Esoteric Blasphemy"
This Winter Will Last Forever/Svartgalgh Records

Solo-project after solo-project, some individuals die off and are cannibalized by the rest. A one-man band should provide a world of isolation and an air of being the last lamb at the slaughter. Yet, some can’t grasp their own essence and produce nothing but another rusty machine. Pestilent Grave’s “Esoteric Blasphemy” swings the cage doors open to liberate a primitive mindset for black metal, without falling into a plastic sound. Vith uses misanthropic inspiration thrown against an austere production to lead himself along a path of black metal blight. Forming in 2008, releasing a demo entitled “Black Majesty Invoked,” a full-length has arrived. “Esoteric Blasphemy” is a short 15 minute CD that goes by fast and leaves you violated, begging for more through a veil of tears and blood.

First on the chopping block, “Gut Rot” spills forth a web of rotting blur. Dry production and a dry throat, Vith composes repetitive riffs and drumming to underline his dusty screams. “Bloody Release” enters in with a shuddering slowness, morphing from the rapidity of “Gut Rot” and the filthy fusillade of “Virtuous Selfmutilation.” Next, “Fucked Up and Insane/Invoking the Lost Goddess” reaches five minutes and is the longest trip into psychosis. Lumbering on until the end, its loathsome message is carried through a somniferous spray of music, changing so little it all gets bunched up and completely confuses you, in a good way. The last track, “Esoteric Blasphemy” is a mound of more confusion that ensures your experience will end in more confusion and mind-numbing.

Pestilent Grave is the definition of rawness, just like the 90’s. Without care for an easy listening experience, bands like this understand that the vilest of attitudes and the evilest of music is often better played through production that mirrors those ideas. Limited to 50 copies, order “Esoteric Blasphemy” and expect to turn up the volume more and more with each song.