Pitchblack

The Devilty

Written by: AP on 26/02/2011 15:47:09

Pitchblack are not a frequent sight in the Danish venue network. All the same the band holds an esteemed Danish Metal Award (now defunct due to bankruptcy) for the best debut album in 2007, and comes with all promo guns blazing on this latest outing: "The Devilty". With this album, Pitchblack aim to challenge a genre ridden with conservative attitude and cliché, musing on contemporary topics like freedom of expression, human rights, racism, religious fanaticism, school shootings, and war - in essence: exactly what almost every other metal band tries to tackle. The music is appropriately violent; blending elements of death metal, thrash and hardcore into a bundle of breakneck agitators not too distant from a certain Gothenburg based gang of psychopaths.

Indeed, the influence of The Haunted is obvious from the get go; whether in the stomping no-frills brutality of opener "Replacing God" or in the darkened Spanish guitar tinkering and murderous vocals of slow mover "One Day We'll Break 'Em". Clearly I am not alone in finding "rEVOLVEr" to be a contemporary masterpiece and a classic worth further exploration. And with the rampant experimental tendencies picking up momentum in the Haunted camp with each new album, the idolatry practiced by Pitchblack can be forgiven. I mean, someone needs to make sure such brilliance is preserved, and stays relevant, in the current discouraging climate optimised for the cultivation of dumbed down mosh metal and plastic mallcore, and if a band like The Haunted - who used to stand for no compromise - is not willing to continue disturbing the balance, a band like Pitchblack might as well step up to the task.

And step up to the task they do, with a furious assault on the norm. I remember being both terrified and intrigued by the sheer ruthlessness with which "rEVOLVEr" pounds you, and such sentiments come flooding back in the devastating deluge of songs like "Don't Make Me Mad" and "Bandido". "The Devilty" sounds like a very serious fuck you to everything, preferring to raise the finger at the heavy topics at hand rather than discuss them from an objective stance - a dearly missed juxtaposition with the pseudo-genuine concern most bands try to express through their lyrics. In essence, the only reasonable reaction to a barn burner like "The Siren Song" is to become dangerously angry; it gives no incentive for reflection.

That is not to say that "The Devilty" is some kind of superficial means to venting juvenile aggressions; no, the stripped down expulsion of all things pretty and pleasant is the mark of a band focused and completely devoted to an art form. The line between senseless brutality and genuine vitriol is fine but Pitchblack have struck the perfect balance. As such, the songs are rammed with texture and subtle variation beneath the ill tempered surface, allowing both instrumental aficionados and those in need of a quick violence fix to find plenty of satisfaction herein. "The Devilty" is a meticulously written album pulsating with antagonism and understated detail; a triumphant piece of music that wears its influences proud. The only problem is the prominence of their primary influence and the resulting suppression of their own identity. But if you find yourself longing for The Haunted of old, "The Devilty" is a nostalgic reminder that the sound still persists.

8

Download: Replacing God, You're Fucking Below Me, Don't Make Me Mad, The Siren Song
For the fans of: The Crown, Hatesphere, The Haunted, The Kandidate, Lamb Of God
Listen: Myspace

Release date 28.02.2011
Mighty Music

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