One would think humankind would have come much further than it has. Sure, we have a ton of technology we use to ignore everything and we can obliterate the planet in a moment’s notice, but you have to admit sense and passion aren’t even in the backseat. They’re in the trunk, suffocating, begging to be released from its confinement.
Along these lines is the way so many people regard the world in which we live and our natural habitat. Green areas are demolished for strip malls, fresh waters are threatened with poisoning for the good of industry, and we have no qualms choking out the environment for the benefit of making money. Hey, shit, we won’t be here when the consequences truly come back to haunt. And science? Proof of the destruction we’re meting out? Some people ignore that because, well, pick an excuse that makes no sense. Having more people stand up against the forces that threaten to wreck nature is needed in larger numbers, and now there’s another massive, mighty force joining the push. Minneapolis-based black/death metal crushers Pestifere aren’t afraid to have their voices heard and might felt when it comes to defending their surroundings. You can feel that in incredible precision on their second record “Hope Misery Death.” If the passion and anger packed into these eight songs don’t move you, perhaps your own heart is black inside, because this is a punishing, ravenous performance.
Having formed in 2012, Pestifere landed with their first record “Liminal” in 2014, an independently released record that was put out in limited number but certainly opened eyes and ears. For “Hope Misery Death,” the band attracted the attention of Eihwaz Recordings (out on CD and cassette), a place where they philosophically and metallically feel right at home. The entire run of this 38-minute record feels vital and in your face, and the band—guitarist/vocalist Lucas Scott (Australis, ex-Enshrined), guitarist/vocalist Aaron Lott (Chaos Frame, and also ex-Enshrined), bassist Dylan Haseltine (Suffering Hour), and drummer David Thames (ex-Bronson)—takes full advantage of their rage and fury to wage their battle for the best of the Earth.
“Don’t Let the Winter Take You” has a crushing open, charging forward heavily, with searing leads burning and harsh growls pounding into your chest. The band trudges hard, and after a dramatic stop/start sequence, strong melodies slip into acoustics, and a final assault smashes to the end. “Cormorant Tree” is an enthralling one, with the lead guitar work jabbing its way into the scene, and creaked growls quaking the Earth. The track heads into spacey/proggy territory, with the vocals turning into wails, soloing bubbling behind it, and guttural thrashing rising up and flattening everything in its way. “Peregrine’s Timbre” has a calculated open, trickling along before the storm opens up. The vocals are gruff and meaty, with stabbing, yet catchy guitar work, and later melodies that take on a nautical ambiance. The song gets moodier as it goes on, pulling over the cover of darkness before lightning strikes and the eruption slams forward and brings the cut to a devastating end. Then “Dispirit” slips in and allows a breather as its acoustics bring a sense of calm that feels rustic and atmospheric.
“Suffer the Day” finds riffs striking, the ground rumbling, and the band heading into a melodic stomp that unleashes a stampede of power. The blistering playing later heads into a post-metal haze, with the final moments crumbling to the ground. “Tomb of Monumental Decay” starts in the fog, with the band navigating its way through the murk. As they come out of the other side, the track bursts apart, with great leads lighting the way and harsh vocals unleashing the gravel. The track then ramps up harder, with the guitars shredding before the pace calms down. From there, a sense of warmth arrives before the guitars reignite and burn off. “Mine Is a Strange Prison” rides in on a strong riff, which then leads to gritty chugging and chunky pounding. The guitars churn and give off steam, with dual leads taking the track to its end. Closer “To Those Who Lost Their Home” wears its heart on its sleeve from the title alone, and it’s a quiet, solemn piece built on folkish acoustic guitars, elegant playing, and woodsy fog that strikes at the heart and soul. That helps remind you the victims of these stories are real, and the struggle is eternal until more people wake up.
Pestifere’s fires blaze brightly and righteously on “Hope Misery Death,” and anyone who stands in their way takes the chance of being ground up in the gears. Their black/death metal and thrash stew is a tasty one, filling you out and sticking to your bones. And the fact that they fight a noble battle against the true evil forces of this country and world should be enough to want to toss a few bucks their way to get your hands on this record and make sure they forge well into the future.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/pestiferemn
To buy the album, go here: https://thecollectivedistro.com/
For more on the label, go here: http://eihwazrecordings.com/