PUSTILENCE "Beliefs of Dead Stargazers and Soothsayers"

By Dr. Abner Mality

I sometimes wonder if bands just sit around, drink booze, smoke weed, huff paint thinner and play "let's come up with death metal song titles that are wordy and profound but actually mean jack shit". Australia's PUSTILENCE would be sure contenders in such a contest. Is there a lick of sense in songs named "Profound Assiduity", "Iliad To the Contorted Apprehension", and especially the immortal "Pishogue Thaumaturge"? They sound like a random death metal song name generator blew a gasket and went into overdrive.

Ridiculous appellations aside, PUSTILENCE deliver some pretty extreme DM here. The songs are pretty chaotic, with more jagged edges than a bagful of broken glass, and hyperactive time changes. The drums are a dreadful clatter and cat-strangling guitar solos are everywhere. Frankly, it's exhausting and the album's 46 minute run time actually seemed to be much longer. Also, as per what seems to be an unwritten rule that no underground death metal band can break, there are three ambient soundscapes that take up time.

It's not a total wash and as the album proceeds, things seem to gradually get tighter and more riff-based.  The song "Extirpated Conquest" is next to last and it has such a coherent groove that it sounds like a different band than the one that did the first few tracks. Good riffs and solos do pop up, but the overall feeling is one of disjointedness. So in the end, just another putrid and extreme death metal in the great amorphous ocean of such releases that never abates.