Released: 2013, Le Crepuscule Du Soir
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.