Pestilential Shadows - Depths
Seance Records
Black Metal
8 songs (55'53")
Release year: 2011
Reviewed by Alex
Archive review

It is a shame we don’t have a review for Pestilential Shadows on our site yet. I am going to correct this error and get the Australians some coverage, especially considering their new album Ephemeral has just been released. However, before I get to Ephemeral I would like to introduce you to Depths. Just a second release ever on the native Séance Records label, I remember Depths striking me very deep at the time, so it is only justice we begin with Pestilential Shadows one album back in their discography.

Black metal can be associated with many things, imagery, ideals, speed, but atmosphere of pain and suffering is often the motto black metal bands wear on their sleeve. Pestilential Shadows is all about that motto. It is almost understandable how some one-man bedroom black metal outfits can pour out their soul into music. After all, it is one man’s vision. With Depths Pestilential Shadows were able to achieve the atmosphere of pain delivered in unison, non-stop, for 55 min straight. Whether they thrust into repeating chords dripping with misery (Lost Geists of the Sunlight Sphere), cut pieces off the flesh slowly, bleeding the suffering one droplet at a time (Tribulations of Man), or don’t break their stride blasting and chanting through Choirs Beyond the Blackened Stars, Depths continues to deliver expansive, wafting, drifting sadness, especially in songs like Putrid Earth and Shrine. Growing from acoustic intro (Putrid Earth) or from quiet beginnings (Shrine), respectively, the slower songs on Depths just plain mesmerize, make you abstract from reality, to become oblivious to the world you live in, even if for a moment.

Depths does have faster moments, like disturbing Poisoner and bipolar Architects of the Spear, which shifts tempos from chaotic to perverted jangly distorted guitar, inviting the listener to come and get more of this sound. If you only yearn for speed Pestilential Shadows is a lot more about reverential trance, with blank stare on the listener’s face, worshiping something dark at the unknown altar, without realizing it. Religious ending of Tribulations of Man or choirs in Choirs Beyond the Blackened Stars right around 4 min even invoke Deathspell Omega comparisons, even if I hear some fuzzier Gorgoroth circa Quantos Passunt ad Satanitatem Trahunt with huge boulders of distortion rolling off Pestilential Shadows musical deck.

Depths is an album you need to experience if you think metal, of any kind, has to have a gloom component in it. Pestilential Shadows prove themselves to be masters of pessimism on this release.

Killing Songs :
Tribulations of Man, Shrine, Putrid Earth, Depths
Alex quoted 89 / 100
Other albums by Pestilential Shadows that we have reviewed:
Pestilential Shadows - Ephemeral reviewed by Alex and quoted 82 / 100
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