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Black Pestilence
In Defiance
February 2014
Released: 2013, Le Crepuscule Du Soir
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Alberta Assault! In early 2014 Calgary, Alberta will be hosting the WACKEN METAL BATTLE. This contest has regional acts perform to audiences and judges who then decide who gets to go further in the contest, with the winner getting a trip to perform at Wacken. This is a good a time as any to do my bi-annual, quick, regional round-up of releases from Alberta Metal bands. Even though not all of these bands may be competing in WMB, I’d like to thank the bands who provided review copies for me for my radio show and Metal-Rules.com. The bands are Armifera, Black Pestilence, Bloated Pig, Enemyus, Exit Strategy, Ides Of Winter, Kataplexis, Misanthropy, Scythia, Throne Of Vengeance, Trollband, Vile Insignia and Villainizer. Please feel free to check out the other reviews in this feature.



Black Pestilence is one of a few groups in Alberta that is actually signed to an international label. Of the 150+ active bands maybe a dozen have record deals or are operating at above the local/indie level and Black Pestilence is already after a few short years, a pair of albums, in that elite category. They signed to an obscure French label called Le Crepuscule Du Soir Productions.



IN DEFIANCE is not exactly a full new studio album. They had an EP in 2012 with the same title and all five tracks appear on this version. Essentially it seems they have reissued the EP with three new tracks, ‘Vicious Life’, ‘Toxic Underground’ and ‘Engulfed By Sin’. The Limited Edition North American version comes with four bonus tracks, a couple of live tracks and a couple of alternate mixes of older songs. It would be nice if the liner notes told us where and when the live songs were recorded. If you are a big fan and already have everything Black Pestilence has done, you may not want to dish out full price for what is essentially three new songs but overall seven bonus tracks will add value for collectors and the die-hard fans who get everything. The package is nice, cool cover art, lyrics and so on.



Black Pestilence is one of those (sort of) one-man Black Metal projects where founder and master-mind Valax, does all the song-writing, lyrics, vocals, bass, guitar and samples, but has people helping out on drums, in the studio and playing live. IN DEFIANCE continues with the band blackened punk/thrash sounds with maybe just they slightest, modern and/or industrial hints. It is a very decent blend of sounds…not too much punk influence either thankfully. Valax has a nice raw vocal delivery and the warbly guitar tone suits this style of Metal perfectly. The pace is pretty fast for much of the record, which I always appreciate in Black Metal.



IN DEFIANCE is quite sophisticated , with more dynamics and innovation than just being a early 90’s Black Metal styled act. It is a fairly European sound that might appeal to fans of Anaal Nathrakh and some of the Dimmu Borgir stuff when Dimmu is not being all gothic or symphonic. Valax has written and recorded one of the more entertaining albums on the local scene in recent memory.
Track Listing

1. In Defiance
2. Vicious Life
3. Uprising
4. Toxic Underground
5. Liberty Chants the Scriptures of Satan
6. Engulfed by Sin
7. Serpentine Power
8. Greed for Greed

Bonus Tracks

9. In Defiance (Alternate Mix 2012)
10. Serpentine Power (Alternate Mix 2012)
11. Vicious Life (Live 2013)
12. Urban Chaos (Live 2012)

Lineup

Valax-Everything

Other reviews

» In Defiance
by JP

» In Defiance
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team


Next review: » Black Pestilence - In Defiance
Previous review: » Black Moor - The Conquering

Black Pestilence
In Defiance
June 2014
Released: 2013, Le Crépuscule du Soir Productions
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team

Ah, summer. Getting half naked, cracking open a cold beer and listening to some black metal. That's right, you read that correctly. Whilst a lot of the genre is perfect for blizzard-drowned nights, Canadian trio Black Pestilence shed the frostbite with their punk-tinged offering which is bound to be the soundtrack to many a sun-soaked piss up.



Aesthetically, the band project a rather confusing image with this album. The Black Pestilence logo is great; it reeks of grimy punk attitude twisted amongst black metal spires. However, the cover art is just a mediocre painting and the album title is in a font which looks like it was pulled straight from Word Art. I know punk is about not giving a fuck but come on, there are limits.



Looks aside, musically this album hits the mark in many ways. Awash with catchy riffs, electronic undertones and even some noise influence, In Defiance presents an in-your-face listen with a healthy dose of creative flair. The songs aren't masterpieces by any stretch of the imagination but they also offer something a lot of second wave black metal does not; deviation from the norm. This outlook seems to be mirrored by the band. Black Pestilence is the brain child of Valax, who has previously stated in an interview that his music “has always been in opposition of traditional black metal”. The eclectic Canadian also describes it as “urban black metal”, a label which holds a great deal of accuracy.



Purist material this is not, but I'd recommend it to those who are newcomers to the genre and want to ease themselves in slowly. Strong production offers a clear view into what In Defiance has to offer, allowing the listener to differentiate between each musical element. The majority will find something to enjoy here; thrashers will be sated, particularly with the start of 'Liberty Chants the Scriptures of Satan', fans of the second wave scene are likely to dig this and even experimental junkies will find something of value. Overall though, this album is suited to those looking to have a fun listening experience and a good time.



When the rain clouds return to our shores, this album might not be so appealing but until then, there are no naysayers allowed here.



Review by Beth Avison
Track Listing

1. In Defiance
2. Vicious Life
3. Uprising
4. Toxic Underground
5. Liberty Chants the Scriptures of Satan
6. Engulfed by Sin
7. Serpentine Power
8. Greed for Greed

Lineup

Valax - All Instruments/Vocals

Other reviews

» In Defiance
by JP

» In Defiance
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team


Next review: » Black Pyramid - Black Pyramid
Previous review: » Black Moor - The Conquering





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