Call the Exterminator

Aug. 17, 2015


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The band: Norse. Despite the name, these are neither gods nor northmen. Welcome to the twisted world of Australian metal. The album is Pest, and it is not for the faint of heart. Honestly, it hurt my ears a little the first time around. But even so, something about it led me to stick it in the queue. Is this music, or some kind of virus?

Whatever it may be, it’s just plain vile. Blackened, experimental death doom. Yeah. Something like that. Vocals are ugly and uncomfortable snarls of disdain. Shouts of nihilism and death rattles punish the listener like an army of cenobites. It’s grim, it’s gorgeous. Guitars squeak, squeal, and crunch through technical death riffs contorted by bleak, acerbic black ethos. What a ride.

Drumming is simultaneously primitive and premeditated. Raw and repugnant. The hammering lends itself to some industrial qualities in the churning, rusty, machine-like qualities. Think Altar of Plagues’ Teethed Glory and Injury, only even more dissonant. I also adore the creepy, slow moments, and the resulting unusual sounds in the distortion as with the title track. It’s a rough listen, but not inaccessible.

In fact, just after two or three goes, I was totally into it and picking up on the subtle ideas that make it all work. Pest is fairly unique, but fits in well with Dendritic Arbor, Grethor, and perhaps even Vorage.. At less than 30 minutes, it’s a brisk listen. With an equally low price tag at 5 euro, only a moron would pass on this experience. Just tell me I’m wrong.