Pestilength‘s new full-length, Basom Gryphos, is a rager of the highest order, the Spanish duo on their second record digging deep into the murk of death metal, of corrosive blackened sludge, of total bestial barbaric caveman stomp und pummel, the band getting the atmospheric part of it down to absolute perfection, and the sonics are pure love letter to all that is horrid and torrid and downright filthy about death metal.
To celebrate the release of Basom Gryphos, we caught up with guitarist/bassist/vocalist M. (yup) to find out what five heavy albums changed his life. Read on as our man takes a break from crafting incredible extreme metal to give us his picks, in no particular order.
Molested – Blod-draum (1995)
Compulsory is to point out that their EP work Stormvold is a great contestant. However, this one kept my eyes widely open, as my aural dialects broadened with their merciless carnage. Intricate drum patterns and continuous sharpened strings tied me like barb wire. A majestic blend of brutal black metal. A journey of bottomless corporal spirituality. Lacerations of their sheer brutality pustulate. Blod-Draum is the album that when played from time to time puts my hairs on end; to my ears they were at some passages a proto-Portal violent scheme of brutal black metal.
Exmortem – Labyrinths of Horror (1995)
Factual is the rawness of their sound. The vocal hammering was one of the sparks for their craftmanship. Strings had a Metal Zone-ish/HM-2 texture but quite decipherable at equal parts. They purveyed a monolithic chamber of wandering souls of orthodox death metal. They could move from US to European death metal easily. Primitive and raw of its genre. The layout of it was immense, simple, grey a solarized band photo, the labyrinths of simplicity but also effective. “Dark thy Kingdom” and “Punishment for the Weak” are their heaviest songs. Cavemen music.
Sarcophagus – For We… Who are Consumed by the Darkness (1996)
Probably underrated and furthermore some of its members formed Judas Iscariot, if I am not wrong. I remember listening to it at the age of 14/15 from the tape-trading era, and I used to listen to it mesmerized because all instruments were present and the bass tone was incredible. Pointing out that to me was a good example of black metal with US death metal elements making possible the embrace of darkness with intensity and heavy riffing. Moving from slow-paced tempi to blast beats, thick snare sound, vocals were dry and bestial, not damped with tons of reverb and distortion as other bands tend to.
Pyrexia – Sermon of Mockery (1993)
I guess the words for such a piece of history in extreme music are always few, but as some of the mentioned above, this one got me at the teenage years as well. The drumming was so strange to me at that time, deciphering their code, their essence, the liturgical spectres and angels falling as devoured by demons, engraved my corneas. A blurry artwork; the song titles are a pure declaration of intentions. The riffing is atonal, dizzying. Production-wise, year 1993, what else could I say about the golden epoch of death metal? The core of those bands during those years was unstoppable and proof of it is Sermon of Mockery.
Abigor – Fractal Possession (2007)
Verwüstung / Invoke the Dark Age, Orkblut, Nachthymnen, Opus IV were the first steps of this reputed band from Austria. However, Fractal Possession did the job of its title, the multilayered guitars, the intense and surgical drumming. The floating vocals, the choke of them, it’s the anguish needed, a pure nervous system. Musicianship is out of this planet, with mature production, an entity that needs to be understood by listening to their previous works. Abigor is one of the bands that evolve, they age like one of the finest wines. To sum up, as part of their philosophy and personal one too, this sentence says it all: “If you seek life, then prepare for death.”