Pestilent Hex
The Ashen Abhorrence

Like The Mist From the Mountains and I Am The Night from earlier this year,  Pestilent Hex is a Finnish symphonic black metal supergroup  of sorts. However, this particular project is from a duo  (L.L and M.M) who also perform in Desolate Shrine, Ordinance, Convocation and Corpsessed.

And whereas the the two projects above have their very clear influences with The Mist From the Mountains having a clear Borknagar, Ulve and, Satyricon vibe and I Am The Night leaning hard into early Emperor, Pestilent Hex has a little more obscure and unexpected, but equally clear influence the minute you press play and hear the opening symphonic/piano based throng of “Chapter I : “The Ashen Abhorrence”:

Obtained Enslavement.

If you don’t believe me, go to the last few minutes of the aforementioned title track or the 4 or so minute mark of the second track  “Chapter II : “Nature of the Spirit”. I’ll wait.

Those familiar with the underrated Norwegian symphonic black metal band and particularly their 1998 magnum opus, Soulblight, will immediately hear it (those not familiar with it, go seek it out now if you like 90s symphonic black metal- it’s an unheralded gem).

In all 5 lengthy songs (6-9 minutes) and one two minute interlude, the focus on darker classical atmospheres and a more piano based orchestration is a dead giveaway amid the searing melodicism and symphonic backdrop that all add to the the overall sound that also encompasses plenty of the classic symphonic second wave 90s greats. In particular in the likes of  “Chapter III : “Mephistophelean Liaison” and “Chapter VI: Banishment” has some early Dimmu Borgir, (Stormblast, Enthrone Darkness Triumphant). And of course, strains of early Emperor throughout in the more virulently, classical inspired orchestration and tempo changes as heard in “Chapter V: Old Hag”.

But it’s clear these guys wanted to honor Obtained Enslavement and their sound, and they succeeded brilliantly and have added a third magnificent album from a Finnish symphonic black metal supergroup in 2022.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 30th, 2022


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