PESTILENGTH "Basom Gryphos"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Here we have something that's more interesting than it might initially appear. On first listen, this mysterious outfit from the Basque country of Spain seem to be another in a long line of bands purveying pure, cavernous brutality. But be patient and listen to all of "Basom Gryphos" and it's apparent PESTILENGTH is putting some thought into their mayhem.

It is horrific stuff indeed, at its most over the top with first track "Tamm". A combination of blasting war metal with a cryptically gruesome murkiness, this is one sick piece of death metal. There's more than a whiff of such over the top bands as PORTAL and ALTARAGE here, but it's not just a wide open blast of sludgy goo. Second track "Entglant" features a more focused, riff-based attack that even resembles early DEATH (but more primitive).at first but which gradually breaks down into a white hot cacophony. "Phorme" is caveman-like clubbing, a rubbery rifferama that's very rhythmic. "Thelegm" slows things down to death/doom levels...super down -tuned and thick. Around the 4:20 mark, it switches to a massively morbid riff that just caves your head in.

Lots of cool twists and turns arise amidst the murk. "Tephra Codex" throws a ton of time changes at you and ends with a repeated thrash-like chug that is hypnotic. "Exertion" is just freaking weird and almost has a black metal INQUISITION/IMMORTAL feel to it while "Chrome" gives surprising emphasis to effects-drenched lead guitar. "Vexed" ends the whole crazed affair with one of the sickest riffs on the album, repeated into a drone that gives way to electronic feedback.

Whew! It is 100% METAL OF DEATH at its most primal level, but with no two tracks sounding the same. PESTILENGTH have come up with something gruesomely intriguing on "Basom Gryphos".