Two things about these Belgian bastards immediately push their kvltness off the charts: 1) they call their music “Medieval Trollish Pestkult”, and 2) they hail from a town literally called Leper. How cool is that – they can call themselves Lepers without actually having to worry about pain-in-the-ass boils and sores. Only in the strange wonderful world of Black Metal…
So what does Medieval Trollish Pestkult actually mean? Hell if I know, but judging from the music it can be found somewhere in between the subterranean murkiness of early BURZUM and the aural blitzkrieg of GORGOROTH. Hey, there’s no shame in taking cues from the best. And just to reiterate, they are lepers. That means they can do anything. But even with that in mind they opted for a no-frills guitar-driven album that has its roots firmly in the early 90s. The music is straightforward for the most part but every now and then they would break out some great Thrashy Black riffs (a la CARPATHIAN FOREST), and some less effective (not to mention unnecessary) semi-spoken word parts, the latter totally disrupting the flow of the album. The whole thing has a very fitting organic feel to it and even though the material is one-dimensional it still manages to conjure up an aura of mystique and hatefulness.
There are melodic parts yes, but they are tempered, so as to ensure the music retains its raw nasty edge. “Pest Alchemie” and “Honger Snood” are great examples of this – they start off in typical Scandinavian Black Metal fashion before either the thrashy or the more melodic parts kick in, but when they do they do so to enhance the overall vibe of the song, and not to act as shallow musical counterpoint. Everything feels integrated, raw and yet loose. No frills attached. If you want that then go buy a damn ballerina dress. The title track is another great song with those typical mournful riffs and croaky vocals that strongly remind of early GORGOROTH (both Hat and Pest eras). They have also sprinkled the album with creepy rat noises, similar to HORNA’s last album, and these compliment the overall sound well. Since Flemish is very close to my mother tongue I could understand most of the lyrics very well – this kills the exoticness a bit I suppose, but even so how can you go wrong with lyrics about plague, famine and rats?
This slab of Medieval Trollish Pestkult turned out surprisingly pleasant. I wasn’t really challenged by the music and its nothing you haven’t heard before but it’s solid Black Metal that sounds as if was actually recorded in ’94 and left unreleased until now as opposed to the sound of a band simply rehashing a bunch of ‘grim’ riffs.
If this is the sound of Medieval Trollish Pestkult then I’m all for it! Very old school and thus very cool.
(Online August 25, 2007)