By Dr. Abner Mality

These shadows hail from Australia, where they are one of the most active and respected black metal bands on the continent. On “Revenant” we get six grim and frosty odes proving that you don’t have to come from snowy climes to make the temperature drop.

It’s very well played and produced, but very traditional in form and layout. “Procession of Souls” starts out catchier and more straight up metallic than I would expected but over its length it morphs into something that sounds typically Scandinavian or Norwegian, right down to the raven croak rasps. There’s an epic touch to each of the songs and you get the impression PESTILENTIAL SHADOWS write their songs to be exactly as long as they need to be, without going overboard. “Twilight Congregation” is the standout track here, with a very sad and mournful sound to its speedy blitz...very much in the tradition of Swedish black metal and right up there with the best.

The title track features some unusual riff choices and some ungodly howls that are different than the usual black metal vocal. This is PESTILENTIAL SHADOWS at their most experimental, but still not veering too far off the frosty path. Final track “Beneath the Dying Stars” is the longest and also the most typical...the beginning is paint by numbers black metal and the “atmospheric” break in the middle of the song really doesn’t help it any.

So a very solid and well done BM offering from this bunch, but nothing to move the proverbial needle.