PEST - Desecration (NO COLOURS - LP 2003)
Pest is a band, which I think is being rarely mentioned among the best Swedish black metal bands. And I cannot really understand why, as they have some truly solid albums in their discography. They have changed their style a little through the entire catalogue and in recent years they became more like sort of blackened thrash speed metal band or whatever you’ll call, but their music gained a lot with that change. And the recently released “The Crowning Horror” LP is just awesome… When I was listening to it I thought that I haven’t listened to the previous LPs of Pest for a while now, so I decided to exhume them and I started digging through Pest discography with their debut LP “Desecration”. This album has been unleashed in 2003 and my vinyl version is released by No Colours Records in nice gatefold cover, which looks very traditional for black metal record, speaking of its simple black / white (no colours mean something hehe) layout and austere look, with just a couple of band photos and usual gothic font. Yeah, definitely the “Desecration” is an example for typical Scandinavian black metal…
The music of Pest on “Desecration” is nothing more or less, but a total Darkthrone worship. Obviously some riffs may have some similarities also to Hellhammer, Bathory, etc, but it is Darkthrone, which I think must have influenced Pest the most. Than can be heard in every song on the album and starts with similar production (which is rough, harsh, but also quite powerful and definitely not too poor, so you actually can hear all the instruments and what the band plays… and that is already a huge positive hehe), through the vulgar, croaky vocals of Necro (who sounds a lot like Nocturno Culto from Darkthrone mid era) and finishing off with the whole atmosphere of the music (dark, cold, grim and evil…) and the specific rhythms, riffs, song structures… Everything sounds like Darkthrone (occasionally also a little like Carpathian Forest). Is it a positive or negative thing, to sound so similar to one certain band and tick all the cliché boxes? Well, Pest definitely aren’t the only ones, who play like that, I can bring here Armagedda for instance, just to mention one, also Swedish band. But the point is that Armagedda managed to compose such album as “Only True Believers”, which is just KILLER, meanwhile I cannot say that “Desecration” is as good as “Only True…”. First off, the songs are fine, but not the best black metal pieces, which I have heard in my life. Secondly, sometimes “Desecration” is just boring and also the fact that such “Commanding Armageddon” sounds a lot (too much I would say) like “Hans syste vinter” won’t bring Pest an extra attention. It just isn’t good if you hear a song, which is almost like a cover, you know? The entire “Desecration” sounds like combination of “Transilvanian Hunger” and “Panzerfaust” and well, I can say that I can enjoy it from time to time, but as overall I think this is just more of a mediocre black metal record rather than one, which will hit the top spot.
I don’t wanna sound like some, who didn’t like it totally… I have no problems with “Desecration” in general and technically it is an album, which die hard, orthodox black metal maniacs will worship. But at the same time, if I can be objective, I just must say that it is solid, but mediocre LP… My favourite song is “Descending”, for its more atmospheric and sort of melancholic atmosphere and riffing; it is the only song, which hasn’t got such a strong impact of Darkthrone (instead it may have more of Burzum feeling to it)… and maybe because it differs from the rest of the album it also shines like a black jewel? From the other hand such “Dark Northern Winters” bores me almost to death… So, if you’re into classic black metal then get “Desecration”; you’ll love it. Otherwise, if you’re more demanding then you better stick to the Darkthrone classics. Personally I don’t mind listening to “Desecration” once every five years or more, but it definitely is not my favourite black metal record. And it’s far from being my Pest favourite record too.
Standout tracks: “Descending”
Final rate: 65/100