PEST

PEST is one of the longest running Swedish black metal bands in modern time. If you haven’t checked them out already time is now. Answers by Equimanthorn. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

You guys have been going for what seems like an eternity now. How would you like to say that the progress of the band has matched your intentions from the beginning?
-We have constantly become worse with every year passed so everything is going according to plan.

How annoying is it when there are other bands named like yours? How do you avoid that the other bands reap the fruit of your hard labour, especially if they suck badly?
-Perhaps more annoying for them since they’ve all split up by now. If someone reap the rotten fruits of our labour I can only congratulate. Most Pest fans probably know which Pest they are listening to, and if they don’t they are probably as happy as ever anyway!

You have a new album to promote. How would you say that this one fits on the progression scale of PEST?
-It fits like a noose around the neck. We have developed a more varied style of playing during the years and there’s an aura of Heavy Metal hanging over the music nowadays. It’s still obscure and evil but we let certain elements shine through more than ever, even if they are not considered orthodox within the “Black Metal scene”.

When you are about to enter a studio how do you know that the producer you’ll be using will get you the sound that you want? What do you do if you come out with an album that sounds nothing like the way you want it to sound?
-If the sound isn´t good enough you probably have to start over from the beginning. But to avoid this we make sure we work with people who know what they are doing. This time we were aiming for an early 80´s Heavy Metal production and we got close enough. Fred Estby made a really good job I think.

How important is the way the cover to your albums look? Do you have a message that you want to get through with your art work?
-To us who grew up with music on vinyl the covers are very important. I mean, if you´re in a record store and you see Destruction´s “Infernal Overkill” for the first time you´ll automatically buy it because you think if the music is half as good as the cover it’s still better than anything else. Then you come home and put the needle to the record and you realize it is better than anything else. Same with “The Crowning Horror” I hope! But to the new generation who are happy with having the music as mp3´s among their other one million mp3´s on their computer it probably doesn´t mean shit.

What kind of role do the lyrics play in the concept of PEST? How important are they?
-They play a great role. It´s the unholy unity between the music and the lyrics that creates the sound of PEST.

Would you say that your black metal is more true than the symphonic kind for example? When did black metal become a myriad of styles? What is black metal to you?
-Don´t know who is more true than the other, but I would definitely say our music is better! I didn´t know Black Metal is a myriad of styles, in my world there are two kinds: the great kind and the worthless kind. My advice is that you pay less attention to the second alternative.. Black Metal to me is the first Bathory album, when it comes to genuine Black Metal this one is unbeatable.

What kind of state is the Swedish black metal scene in today? How much of a scene is there really?
-There are a bunch of active bands that I know of. The most important is Nifelheim, who still keep an incredibly high level.

How much a touring entity is PEST? What kind of live show do you put on?
We don’t play live, so we don’t have to bother about this.

What kind of future would you like to see?
-Darkest possible.

BEYOND MORTAL DREAMS “Dreaming Death”

BEYOND MORTAL DREAMS
“Dreaming Death”
(Lavadome)
This band I remember from a package that I was sent many years ago from Australia. If you browse the archive section of the site you might find a review of it. I can’t say that I remember too much of the music but I’m not the one to give up that easy. Aussie extreme metal has for a very long time been some of the best. Thing Destroyer 666, think Angel Of Death, think SlaughterLord. BEYOND MORTAL DREAMS are no exception. From the first note I was caught in the web that this band weaves. What I like about BMD is that they incorporate traditional heavy metal in their extreme metal sound. It makes for a change to actually hear a guitar solo or two. I never thought I’d miss solos but I do. As for the rest of this album. If you like acts like Incantation or any other heavy and murky death metal acts then this is for you. Well, it is enough if you just like your metal extreme to pick up this album. Anders Ekdahl

BLACK OATH “Ov Qliphoth And Darkness”

BLACK OATH
“Ov Qliphoth And Darkness”
(I Hate)
I get a doom vibe from the name alone. I have no idea how true it will turn out to be but based on what label it is that is releasing this we can at least expect it to be heavy. There is something to the band name that seems vaguely familiar. I can’t put my finger on what it is yet but I guess time will tell if I’ll be able to figure it out. In the meantime I’ll stick to the music. I love doom metal. Have done so ever since Candlemass debut album in the 80s. I could live on doom alone for a long time. Unfortunately doom albums don’t come along that often but when they do they seem to come in pairs of plenty. BLACK OATH have an early Trouble feel to their doom. There is a loose 70s feel to the music. I love early Trouble. I still haven’t figured out why they seemed so familiar to me but that is not so important. I’ll just settle for some good doom metal. Anders Ekdahl

BORNBROKEN “The Healing Powers Of Hate”

BORNBROKEN
“The Healing Powers Of Hate”
(-)
In many ways I miss never having had the chance to be a part of a band. But in as many ways I’m glad that I am not. I think I’d be a pain in the ass to work with seeing as opinionated I am. I have a ton of ideas that I would have forced onto others. Not that I would necessarily have been right and the band would have broken up before we’d ever started. Don’t know about the future of BORNBROKEN but they have at least managed to produce an album. I was never that into Pantera. I’m sorry to say this but I thought that they were too American in their sound. But listening to BORNBROKEN I can hear the influence they have had on metal. This is Pantera-heavy thrashy metal. You could say that there is a modern metalcore touch to it too. This is thick as the London fog in sound. You need a big mother of a knife to cut throw it. But there is a charm to BORNBROKEN’s thrash metal that appeals to me. Somehow I can’t put this album down. It’s too good to be slagged off. Anders Ekdahl

DEATHEMBER FLOWER “Architect”

DEATHEMBER FLOWER
“Architect”
(Metalscrap)
This gotta be one of the better band names that I’ve come upon in a very long time. The band must have thought long and hard to come up with the name. Not only does it look cool but it also kinda hints at what to expect from this musically. I’m not gonna say that every female growler sounds like Angela Gossow because that is not true but I do get an Arch Enemy feel from this band’s music. Perhaps not by fave band of all time I can still enjoy an Arch Enemy album to its fullest. This is death metal in that same kind of mid tempo section. Not fast and brutal like Incantation or melodic like In Flames but somewhere in between. If you have no problem with the tempo then this will most likely appeal to you, like it does to me. There is a charm to this album that is hard to resist. Another fine example of the Metalscrap catalogue. Anders Ekdahl

ECHOTIME “Genuine”

ECHOTIME
“Genuine”
(logic(il)logic)
To me ECHOTIME is all the time. There is no specific part of the clock set aside for the echo. You just throw it out whenever you feel like it. Hopefully I’ll feel that same about ECHOTIME’s music. That this is the kind of music that you can listen to whenever you feel like it. The concept for this album seems to be very elaborate. I’m not gonna go into it in any detail (it is not a very nice picture that they paint of the world) but if you like you metal to be concept albums then this might give you some satisfaction. Musically it ain’t too shabby either. It is in some ways typical Italian symphonic power metal. And as a huge fan of that particular style I find this album to be very pleasing. Like many other stories this is a battle between good and evil. I won’t tell you who wins. I will tell you though that musically this is one for the good guys. Anders Ekdahl

EVANGELIST “Doominicanes”

EVANGELIST
“Doominicanes”
(Doomentia)
For some reason, no matter what your religion is, the stories of the Bible seem to fit doom metal very well. There is something upheaval about many of the stories in the Bible. They tell of disasters and such and that to me is what really great doom metal is about; the foreboding of the great disaster to come. EVANGELIST is like a super heavy Candlemass musically. Or you could say that they are Cathedral-heavy but with a melodic/epic touch. It’s like playing a Black Sabbath 45rpm on 33rpms. There is something to this kind of slow, heavy metal that appeals to my inner being. I love music that is really sad and melancholic. Listening to EVANGELIST is like being part of a procession. You put one foot in front of the other with ever so much after thought, like you are contemplating the consequences of your every move. Can’t get any better than that really. Anders Ekdahl

FORCEOUT “Delusion”

FORCEOUT
“Delusion”
(Metalscrap)
I like the fact that so many different styles of metal co-exist alongside each other. I would really hate if I had to choose one of two styles and then stick to them for the rest of my life. I’m totally addicted to metal and the more styles to choose from the better I feel. This is to me death metal, perhaps a tad on the more melodeath-ish side of things of a more controlled kind. Not as frenetic or frantic as some but more in the laidback school of things. There is something familiar to this bands metal but I can’t really out my finger on it. But I do like that there is plenty of guitar solos in the music. I’ve missed a really good guitar solo for a long time now. It is annoying when you have it on the tip of your tongue yet can’t speak it. As I try to figure out what FORCEOUT reminds me of I’ll keep listening to this melodic death metal album. Anders Ekdahl

HARASAI “Psychotic Kingdom”

HARASAI
“Psychotic Kingdom”
(Quality Steel Records)
I don’t know how correct melodic death metal is on the latest trendometer but to my ears a great metal album is always a great metal album no matter when it is released. So if HARASAI want to play melodic death metal I’m not the one to stop them. On the contrary. I’ll be the one cheering them on. I get a strong Dark Tranquillity feel from this album. My first thought was how much this made me think of Dark Tranquillity’s debut album. There’s the same kind of time changes on this album by HARASAI. As I have great memories connected to DT’s debut album I get a warm feeling whenever I hear anything that make me remember that album. This is in other words classic Gothenburg death metal done the German way. How cool is that? Pretty if you ask me. Anders Ekdahl

JEX THOTH “Blood Moon Rise”

JEX THOTH
“Blood Moon Rise”
(I Hate)
I gotta admit that I too was caught by the hype JEX THOTH drew upon themselves with their debut album. And the hype was well deserved. That album was a grand display of how to do things well. Now it is time to prove that the first album wasn’t just a flux. The first time around I had kind of a hard time to label the band correctly. Was it metal? Was it rock? Was it hardrock? Was it doom? Whatever it was it was bloody great. There is a psychedelic touch to JEX THOTH. I’m not the greatest connoisseur of psychedelia. My experience basically begins and end with “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane but I like what I hear from this new album by Jex Thoth. If I had to call it anything it would be psychedelic doom metal. There is a trance like aura to the vocals. They try to draw you into the spider’s web. Another cool album from Jex Thoth. Rush out and buy it! Anders Ekdahl