In the three decades that I’ve been listening to Black Metal I don’t remember experiencing a lull like the current one. The dearth of quality releases appearing over this past few months has come as a considerable jolt to one who eats, sleeps and breathes Black Metal. Not sure what is going on but I am concerned. While the number of bands and albums continues to increase exponentially, the amount of worthy releases is going through the floor. Today, it’s almost all quantity, no quality.

You really have to sift through a lot of shit now to find a decent record. Mind you, there are many clues to be along the way and Signal Rex is usually a pretty safe bet. And, true to form, with the eponymous debut full-length from Pestis Cultus, the Portuguese label has unearthed another stunning record.

Pestis Cultus may be a new name but the demonic entities behind the band are veterans of the Perth Black Metal underground. Here they have crafted a putrid dose of filthy, poisonous black bile. The songs are venomous and necrotic but there is a devilish sense of melody at work too, which elevates proceedings to a delirious level of frenzied, feverish depravity.

The nine ominously imposing and twisted offerings rip forth through the rusty ether with intent in just over half an hour, with all manner of subtle intricacies revealed upon each additional listen. There’s a who-gives-a-fuck punk vibe evident throughout but this is raw, uncompromising Black Metal to the rotten core. They even managed to get the legendary Mortiis on board to perform the intro and outro. Housed in a sumptuous gatefold cover, the vinyl edition does justice to a timely underground abomination. A timely morsel of nourishment in the ongoing famine.

Evilometer: 666/666