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Pestilential Shadows - ''You can never stagnate with Black Metal''



Pestilential shadows are black metal elite. For over twenty years they have not wavered or compromised in their stance to create black metal art that has heralded such landmark releases as ‘’Depths’’ and ‘’ Ephemeral’’ Their new album, the superb ‘’Devils Hammer’’ is another openly confrontational album that follows up quickly from ‘’Revenant’’.

 

Balam (Bass/vocals) ‘’We’ve had some issues in the past with line-up changes and bands members living so far away that has prevented us from releasing albums closer together, everyone in this incarnation lives closer and able to collaborate way more often. I’d had some of these songs written for quite some time and when the two new members (Mourn & Krvna Vatra) started working with us, their ideas and songs were the catalyst to create the new album, and with their songs they had written it just all fell into place.

 

The intent behind such an unforgiving album?

''I think in 2024 there are so many Black Metal bands that are getting softer with age, ditching the imagery and coming up with a watered-down, user-friendly version of this genre of music and ideology. Pestilential Shadows has always been a black metal band first and foremost. We had the intent to show that you can weave melody and atmosphere and still make a crushing and evil album.

 

It is openly hostile, possibly violent?

 ‘’I hope it is hostile and violent! The mixing of the album (done by Krvna Vatra) helped shape it into a more violent sounding album, plus when writing the drums Basilysk was able to push the boundaries of what he could do with endurance and speed..



It has an edge that is opposed to orthodox religion

 ''I always draw inspiration from Orthodoxy, the basis which modern religion and in essence, way of modern life we live originated. I will always see this as an aberrant removal of nature. I do still appreciate the artwork, architecture, and complexity of what the human mind created from orthodox religion. So, in turn is great inspiration for concepts and lyrics of this album. The innovation that hides within your music.

 

The importance of pushing boundaries?

‘’I believe that you can never stagnate with Black Metal, or anything really for that matter.

To do the same thing as you have always done, never evolving past why you were put

on this wretched earth is why humanity overall, is a terrible blight on the earth. The

mundane survival is excruciating to watch.


‘’Pushing boundaries sets you apart from the boredom, even in a Black Metal, or music

sense. I definitely don’t see us, or any Black Metal band being ‘public’ being such an

extremely small cross-section of the 8 billion or so people on this planet and I am glad for this.

 

It also features a rejuvenated line-up..

‘’Having Mourn and Krvna Vatra in the band did add aggression and dynamics to the band. Their songwriting skills work perfectly with mine and us all coming to the agreement the album had to be a statement of the ethos of what Black Metal is supposed to be. That all added up created a very sharp and precise album.

 

Their involvement in the songwriting process?

‘’They were heavily involved in the process, the writing, the mixing, the artwork themes. They are talented guitarists (way more than me) so it really helped shape the sound. I still write a lot of the guitar melodies, ambient sections and most importantly to me, the bass guitar. I think that is a big part of the sound of Pestilential Shadows. So as long as I write the bass it should always sound like Pestilential Shadows.



The intent is to keep your music purely Black Metal?

‘’Always. If we were to diverge into heavily different themes and songwriting, I believe it

wouldn’t be black metal anymore. In my mind you would have to disband and just create

another band then should not be branded with the Black Metal title. There is a lot of bands that are lumped in with the Black Metal label, but tremolo guitar and harsh vocals don’t make a Black Metal band. It is (and always should be) the ideology and themes that give it the label.



How do you intend to celebrate twenty years of Pestilential shadows?

‘’By writing more music! No real celebration for an inwardly destructive genre of music, this album should be that next sentinel pillar of that 20 years. An evolution of what I started all those years ago and will continue to evolve for many years to come.

 

What drives you to create? Is extremity a part of everyday life?

I don’t think I could ever stop writing music. People have a purpose, and it should be

explored and exploited. I think if I had to stop creating art and music I

would kill myself, what purpose would I have apart from a meat sack?

As far as extremity in everyday life of course there is the mundane actions every human is

chained to but it depends on what is considered extreme? My day job (if you could

call it that, more of a sick joy) is putting other people in pain everyday as a tattoo artist for 20 years, some could consider this slightly extreme? I also have frequent trips to hospital

for high-speed motorcycle accidents racing superbikes as a hobby, which breaking bones some could call extreme?



How do you explain shadows?

Well in reference to the name of the band, it denotes the omnipresent threat of plague and pestilence, like an over-arching shadow looming over mankind, as we saw not too long ago with this ‘pandemic.’ I think the regular human is afraid of what they can’t see, or

understand. I like that humans have fear in things like this. It shows the weakness of the

human mind, and that idea is part of what Pestilential Shadows is about.

 

The ritual of your live shows and upcoming dates?

We are supporting Rotting Christ in May in Sydney, maybe we plan some Australian

shows for the release of the new album. Mainly we will be trying to potentially plan an

excursion into Europe 2025, hoping to join the Northern Silence Festival in Germany.


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