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Pestilence, Perdition, Plague, Pox - Praeyer

Pestilence, Perdition, Plague, Pox (henceforth referred to as 4P for the majority of my dissection) are one of those bands who thrive on image and little else. If one were to be so mean-spirited as to remove said image, the band is left with little---if anything---of value and thus unworthy of a listener's valuable time. With this in mind, does 4P have life of its own or does it merely assume certain stylistic traits to be generally assumed on the part of the listener? Read on.

I'm going to wager that the answer is the latter. Declaring itself as "harsh drone noise from Hell," 4P immediately assumes that listeners will find the thirty-minutes of fairly aimless amplifier sadism on Praeyer "evil" or "grim" simply because it is unpleasant to listen to. The reality couldn't be further from this assumption; Praeyer is neither evil, grim, satanic, or any other vaguely blackened buzz-word. Call it what you will, but the music on this demo sounds to me like nothing but pointlessness.

Perhaps that is the goal, and in that case, please ignore the following. Drone/noise as a genre has always thrived on a sort of abject, hopeless nihilism well beyond normal realms, and as such, perhaps the relative free-form nature of this demo is key to the atmosphere. As much as I'd personally like to believe this (as I have respect for the person behind this project, and the goals contained therein), something in my cranium prevents me from decisively accepting this conclusion.

Regardless, Praeyer suffers from strong ideas but a relatively lacking apparatus in which to ferment them. For example, the aesthetics on offer here fire on all cylinders. The band name obviously inspires visceral emotions of dread, disgust, and fear (as well they should), while visually the the stark, minimalist artwork with its fusion of vaguely pagan prostrate supplicant and crown of thorns inlay sets the tone superbly. In true drone/noise fashion, the sole song, "Glorifying my Overlords through Extermination of Self," is aptly titled and features the sort of clinical self-loathing that the genre's greats do best.

And perhaps this is the entire fallacy. Yes, the demo looks to be a slayer indeed with its titles and artwork and well-chosen moniker. Any lost soul familiar with drone greats such as Earth, Khanate, or Sunn-O))) know that each of these bands has a certain aura to them, and beyond that, they have expertly-crafted takes on the genre to propel things forward musically as well. 4P lacks such direction, and so while the propaganda of the disc itself might inspire, the actual drone/noise itself is rather droll and insipid.

"Glorifying my Overlords" may claim to be 'harsh drone noise from Hell,' and in essence, that is exactly what it is. However, that doesn't make things enjoyable. The rambling, buzzing chaos that this is lacks the identity of say a Sunn-O))), Khanate, or Earth, the kind of subtle nuance that makes their music something just a little bit more than droning feedback rumbles and buzzing distortion wanking. Don't believe me? Just mull it over a sec; Sunn-O))) has their recent prehistoric black metal incantations, Earth their ringing wasteland tones, and Khanate their perverted acidity. But what do 4P have? I'm not so sure....this bubbling musical malignancy has plenty of abrasive, aurally-exhaustive buzz, but I've heard thousands of drone bands playing the exact same thing. Just because a band can make grating sounds and tones does not make said band stand out in a crowd of their peers, and that is the main conundrum that 4P faces in terms of this CD. "Glorifying" blunders and stumbles like a wounded elephant throughout its half-hour existence, with about all the prettiness too. If you like ugly, confused cacophony, this is for you. For everyone else, don't be expecting any structure, rhyme, or reason to the proceedings.

As extreme as this proposes to be, what true extremity exists in simply being loud and unpleasant? As harsh as I might have been in the above passages, I also personally feel that all hope is not lost with this project. Praeyer's most glaring defect is perhaps the fact it was recorded at the very genesis of 4P itself, and in the span of a hour or two tops. This quick inspiration lays a very basic foundation for the project as a whole, and it is my opinion that 4P can only build up a true identity after a bit more practice. Newer material has proven promising, with the band adding actual structure, tempo-shifts, and variation in the pandemonium of biting distortion. To make things even more intriguing, vokills of a damnable rasping have been added, not unlike the whispered sighs of the damned. Tricks like these will undoubtedly give the band that much needed identity I spoke of earlier. Here's hoping the band eventually finds it.

Pestilence, Perdition, Plague, Pox's Praeyer
1. Glorifying my Overlords through Extermination of Self



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