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Review: Black Pestilence – Urban Hell Rhythmics

by Miloš Šebalj
Black Pestilence
Black Pestilence

Black Pestilence – Urban Hell Rhythmics

  1. Artificial
  2. D.I.Y. 666
  3. Hymns for the Black Mass
  4. Vertex
  5. Back to the Underground
  6. Digital Degeneration
  7. Devil of My Life
  8. Deny the System
  9. Countess of Dominion
Label: Self-released
Date: May 25, 2018

My kingdom for a neck massage! Jokes aside, Black Pestilence is back with a new album, the 5th of their career that is entering the second decade this year. Quite productive, you must agree. At the same time, this is a band that has found their sound a few albums back, and they are pushing it to the limits, all the while upgrading it with a few new touches here and there. But from the beginning…

“Urban Hell Rhythmics” offers another half an hour of already recognizable Black Pestilence style. Hardcore/Punk wrapped in a Black Metal coat is what these Canadians are all about. You get the familiar Punk arrangements along with the first wave Black Metal filth put together in the “high voltage” mix. This (and a couple of their previous) album is fully packed with maximum energy, created to slap you across the head. Doesn’t matter if we’re talking about full speed attacks on the eardrums or the slower sections. Now that I think about it, the only strict Black Metal aspect of this release are the vocals. There are a couple of blast beats or freezing guitar riffs, but the majority of them still fall to the Hardcore/Punk legacy. On the other hand, “Vertex” could easily stand in the Industrial pile with the distorted vocals and samples used. Speaking of the same song, the drum pattern suspiciously resembles the traditional Macedonian uneven rhythms. It seems Valax (the creative force behind the band) picked up some influences while on tour of the Balkans a couple of years back. Yet another novelty strikes in the “Deny the System” song. Ska/Punk? Sure, why not!

Speaking about the lyrics, again we have a mix of social themes along with the pure satanic worship ala Venom and even a couple of S/M influenced songs. There is even a dose of humor in there somewhere, and yet another look behind on the mentioned Balkan tour. It is important to mention that Black Pestilence’s trademark choruses are still omnipresent, tunes you can sing-along to at the shows, and another anthem for the Metalheads/Punks in the second song.

My description might just sound a bit confusing, since there are a lot of things going on here. However, you should not worry too much. This is all coherently built, and all the different influences just add to the dynamics of the record. It all fits together nicely and satisfaction is guaranteed. Wherever your allegiance lies, be it Metal or Punk, you should not be disappointed with “Urban Hell Rhythmics”. And please do not hesitate to check it out live if the opportunity arises. You will not regret it!

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