Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Howling Wind - Pestilence & Peril

The Howling Wind – Pestilence & Peril
Profound Lore Records

This is the first release for this post-Thralldom project from guitarist/vokillist Killusion and drummer Parasitic Nex. My expectations prior to receiving this disc for review were shattered upon first listen, as this effort is much more raw than I had expected!

Pestilence & Peril begins with Projections, a darkened and gloomy track of churning noise, cavernous whispers, and massive atmosphere before you’re hit with the first riffs of Sin Continuum. The guitars kick out a very old school, straightforward fast progression with Parasitic Nex furiously bashing away behind the drum kit. Killusion has definitely carried over much of the Thralldom atmosphere/vibe to this new project, however the music is far more to the point and less experimental. The riffs are very focused and generally-speaking the arrangements are more of a traditional approach, but the execution seems much more venomous than Thralldom to me. The sound is pure hate distilled and laid to tape! Virulence 33 continues the journey with a more doom-influenced main riff before suddenly switching the tempo up with a battery of blast beats. There is no shortage of dynamics within the album, yet each scream, riff, and beat are focused and voracious.

Pestilence & Peril contains much to be desired and doesn’t seem to limit itself to one particular persuasion. The music is blackened, yet not strictly or necessarily black metal. It’s doomy, yet not necessarily doom or sludge metal. In that respect, Killusion and Parasitic Nex have succeeded in not only creating a potent collection of aural violence, but kept from limiting The Howling Wind to falling in line within trends or genres. Fans of Killusion’s work in Unearthly Trance and Thralldom will find just as much delight in The Howling Wind as newcomers searching for a new and original slab of darkness. Kudos, gentlemen, and please keep it up.

Every track upon this album is a highlight. To give more than a small taste of what you would hear when listening to this record would be to spoil it. Get it immediately and listen to it in its entirety under the influence of your choice. Darkness only improves the experience.