Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pest - Desecration (2003)

Not long after I first got to Stockholm, years ago, I met an acquaintance that was often pushing newer bands on me. I was exposed to the Swedish band Pest around the same time as Armagedda. Listening to Blasphemy is My Throne and The Final War Approaching, it seemed that both were doing a rather bland imitation of Darkthrone, so I ignored them. Though Armagedda redeemed themselves a little bit with their second album, Pest's debut effort left a lot to be desired. Released in October 2003, Desecration has always bored me, no matter how many times I've come back to it over the years.

When dealing with Black Metal from the twenty-first century, of course there is a great deal of Darkthrone-worship to be found. In cases when the bands also add something of their own to the formula, such as Clandestine Blaze and early Sargeist, this is perfectly fine. Unfortunately, Pest adds absolutely nothing. These guys are competent musicians, but their songwriting is very weak. They do their best to rip-off various Darkthrone tracks, sticking so close to the originals that the songs just seem like empty copies. When listening to this, I don't hear "Ninth Nocturnal Departure" or "Dark Northern Winters" or whatever other titles they've chosen for their plagiarized nonsense. I just hear a band failing to play covers of songs like "Natassja in Eternal Sleep" or "The Hordes of Nebulah". It's so bad that even the vocal patterns and some bits of lyrics are based on the originals. There is absolutely no imagination, no creativity on display here.

Another huge problem, aside from the terribly weak songwriting, is the production. The sound is much too modern and clean for this style of music. The truth is that they could have written very interesting riffs and come up with original vocal patterns and so on, but it would have sounded like garbage anyway due to the production. It's just too thick and clear and does not suit the music, at all.

Of all the Darkthrone clones out there, this one just isn't worth bothering with. Pest would later go on to make some decent music, from time to time, but Desecration was a swing and a miss, completely. Even people that don't mind total copycat bands should avoid this, as it is quite boring and mundane.