Friday, October 02, 2009

Pestilential Shadows "In Memoriam, Ill Omen"

Pestilential Shadows- In Memoriam, Ill Omen

(Pulverised Records)

Pestilential Shadows are an Australian band cobbled together from members serving time in other noted acts, such as the recently reinvigorated Naxzul. Playing melodic black metal with a raw sound, but without any use of saccharine keyboards, Pestilential Shadows can certainly play their instruments and write songs that, if not wholly original, are at least interesting and are solidly within the genre. “In Memoriam, Ill Omen” is the second full-length from Pestilential Shadows, and is released on Pulverised Records (the releases just keep coming faster and faster from this label with a seemingly global reach).

Pestilential Shadows are treading well worn ground here with a range of tempos, a generally melodic take on the genre with buzzing guitars and rasped vocals, and good songwriting. Try as I might, however, I just cannot get into this release. An insurmountable problem with “In Memoriam, Ill Omen” is the production that completely misses the mark. I suspect that the intention here is to create a melancholic atmosphere with a fuzzy, low end production, but that’s not the end result. The production is completely watered down, robs the music of any heft, particularly in the tinny sounding percussion, and just falls flat with far too clean of a sound. I found this to be extremely annoying and, although there’s quality musicianship and songwriting going on with Pestilential Shadows, I found it difficult to get through the album in one sitting without my attention just drifting away. Certainly, there are plenty of releases out there with incredibly low-fi production and slimy atmosphere (Black Funeral), but Pestilential Shadows end up with a release that is just too clean and flat sounding for its own good.

In short, although there’s potential here, “In Memoriam, Ill Omen” is not one of the better releases on Pulverised Records’ roster.


Pestilential Shadows Official MySpace

Pulverised Records

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