PEST - In Total Contempt (NO COLOURS Records - LP 2005)
Albums like this always give me a headache and dilemma. From one hand I like them and enjoy listening to them, I have them in my collection on vinyl and don’t even consider selling or trading them for something better… They’re good and solid enough for me. But from the other hand when I listen to bands like Pest I just cannot stop thinking that this is just a second rate black metal band, a typical Darkthrone clone / worship (choose what you want) and stylistically albums like “Desecration” and “In Total Contempt” don’t bring anything new, fresh and memorable to the well used black metal formula. And this a problem, especially when you write a review of such albums… Because you quite like the music, but that unoriginality aspect and sort of typical, easy to foresee playing on the edge of mediocrity cannot be overlooked. I do realize though that there will be many black metal maniacs, who don’t really care, as long as there’s cold feeling, harshness, primitiveness and this evilness and for them anything what sounds like Darkthrone is just great. Yeah… but objectively speaking such albums will always be just followers, not the leaders and
“In Total Contempt” doesn’t distinguish from the majority of similar black metal records with anything exceptional. When listening to this album I almost have a feeling like I know most of these riffs or songs already from the other bands and even the vocals sound damn typical. Again, I am not saying that unoriginality is something wrong, as originality is not a key factor for me, which makes a killer record. But it gets annoying after a while, when you listen just a bunch of not really spectacular and almost easily forgettable, kind of mediocre really songs and when you keep thinking that whatever Pest did on “In Total Contempt” it is just not as good as the classic Darkthrone records and not only them, because there are several similar Darkthrone worshippers, which are kind of better than Pest – like Armagedda, Craft or Urgehal. The most annoying thing about “In Total Contempt” is I guess the fact that it lacks songs, which would really stand above and be a worthy, truly memorable classics. Instead we get eight typical, average tracks which offer nothing but the same old formula, without any truly awesome riffs, arrangements or anything what would make “In Total Contempt” to be special. I am not saying that this album is totally worthless, because it definitely is not. What’s even weirder is that despite all these complains of mine I still am able to listen to it without any problems and I like Pest as the band… “In Total Contempt” is not the best, but also not the worst black metal record, it is somewhere in the middle I guess, so this is why it doesn’t disturb me, I can enjoy it once every five years or something. I think I can say that I like the production of this album, also such songs as “Thrones Ablaze”, “A Vengeance Rising” are really cool, but then such “Beyond Redemption” or “Cold Stare” bore me a little. So, there’s always something which is not perfect. And more so, I think that at the time of its release I liked this album more than nowadays, today I guess I am more picky and demanding. Anyway, I still can recommend “In Total Contempt” to the truly dedicated and fanatical pure black metal cult maniacs, other can check some other, better, records. I am somewhere in between these two groups.
Standout tracks: hmmm, sorry, are there any?
Final rate: 65/100