In Aeternum - The Pestilent Plague Review
by Matt Hensch
I'd assume that even though Swedish warlords In Aeternum have been ravenously desecrating pilgrimages for several years, many folks are still in the dark about the group and their outrageous bombardment on one's ears. I found "The Pestilent Plague" rotting in a bargain bin at my local CD store for two dollars and figured I could use an overtly-metal album; indeed, it was money well spent. I quickly discovered In Aeternum's blueprint hardly ventures outside the crippling cruelty of blackened death metal fried into a bottomless pit of evil, but it's clear a record such as "The Pestilent Plague," which essentially has been done before, is soaked in the subgenre's excellent treasury with all the malevolent riffs, patterns, and torture tactics to prove it.
"The Pestilent Plague" is far from anything original or unique, but the album never lets up in its consistent assault of blackened death metal for even a millisecond. Immediately "The Apocalypse Division" initiates In Aeternum's fiery shelling with amputating tremolo riffs, thunderous blastbeats, and mid-paced sections so heavy tectonic plates worldwide shear into brittle. The record's method continues nonstop from beginning to end, relentlessly throwing instrumental brimstone and smoke in blackened death metal's burning face with no mercy or regret. Everything from the catchy melodies of "Ultimate Warfare" to the chaotic, gritty riffing on "Revelation of Hell" causes instant infatuation, yet nothing stops "Eternal Devastation" from being my favorite song from the album, because it smolders and churns with so much violence and brutality that it almost hurts to hear, but it hurts oh so good.
After eight tunes follow the blistering rampage that is In Aeternum's second album, "The Pestilent Plague" finally resides, leaving a dent of massive shrieks, riffs, and facebreaking blackened death metal to loft in the dust. As I said before, there really isn't much to say about this record because it really is just tremolo riffs layered over blastbeats and a mid-paced zinger here and there, yet In Aeternum uncover a lot of stellar riffs and ideas hiding in an identity that many fail to truly master. Overall, "The Pestilent Plague" scores a lot of points for the blackened death metal scheme and generally remains a great listen from a very underrated group.
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