Pestifere - Hope Misery Death
Eihwaz Recordings
Melodic Black Metal
8 songs (38' 18")
Release year: 2016
Reviewed by Andy

Hailing from Minneapolis, Pestifere has been around for a few years now, composed of musicians with a few past bands under their belts and headlining for better-known black metal bands that pass through their town. Their sophomore album covers an introspective, melodic black metal sound that is both heavy and easy on the ears.

Based on what I was hearing about Hope Misery Death, I'd expected nature-themed atmospheric black metal along the lines of Fen, but the album is a sturdy, unpretentious black metal album with nice melodic riffs and a good sense of drama on the part of its creators. Guitarist Aaron Lott throws sharp-edged riffing at the listener on Comorant Tree with echoes of Immortal in his complex, tightly abbreviated phrasing. Now and then the guitar work will die down for a softer counterpoint on acoustic guitar; the acoustic parts are usually less technically impressive unless playing instrumental tracks (which they do, twice), but they allow the band to provide fine shading to their songs. Scott's raspy shriek works well with the guitars, too, providing a solid layer of darkness at the bottom end of the sound.

The part I like most on this one, though, is the songwriting, which reminds me a bit of pre-prison Dissection. Listeners who simply must have their black metal in the form of grinding dissonance may look askance at the coiled, interlocking riffs of Suffer the Day, but never fear; there's enough speed and fury in that one and Tomb of Monumental Decay to power a thrash band, and Mine Is a Strange Prison continues this trend.

Altogether, Hope Misery Death is a fairly impressive job, and I'll be spinning it for a few times. Melodic extreme metal listeners should probably check this one out.

Bandcamp: https://pestifere.bandcamp.com/.

Killing Songs :
Suffer the Day, Comorant Tree
Andy quoted 85 / 100
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