Direct and destructive, diverse and damaging…
Review by Jason Guest
Release date: 19 September 2015
A band I’ve not heard of until this CD dropped through my letterbox, the first time I played Pillars of Detest through, I knew I’d be coming back to it for further exploration. Suitably grim and darkly atmospheric with an air of dejection coursing through its unforgiving and ruthless bombardment, the third album from Moonreich is a direct and destructive piece of work as diverse as it is damaging.
The gripping discordance of ‘Ad Nauseam’ blasts forth in an unstoppable barrage of blackened beauty, the string-bending riff and the jarring arpeggio from the intro providing a solid foundation upon which mainman Weddir can build the first of many sturdy and menacing compositions. ‘Believe & Behead’, comprised of a bunch of bludgeoning riffs that shift from one end of the extreme spectrum to the other, are augmented by a few atmospheric touches and melancholic melodies stitched into the track.
So far, Weddir’s technique of establishing a solid base to expand upon is exploited to great effect and ‘Long Time Awaited Funeral’ wastes little time in getting to the meat of the matter and further allows Weddir to push his sound even further. The misshapen riff that drives the track winds and finds its way through contortion after contortion and becomes curiously hypnotic in its persistence. And in contradistinction to the barrage that has befallen us so far, the slow instrumental ‘Sheïtan’ revels in atmospheric splendour.
With the blackened bile returning for ‘Pillar Of Detest – World Shroud’, at seven and a half minutes this is the least successful track on the album. Though undeniably ferocious and structurally interesting – the chugging riff section in the closing minute is particularly heavy – it seems to move forward with no clear sense of direction. The four minute salvo ‘All Born Sick’ sees the band going for the throat in the most straightforward track on the album and acts as a welcome burst before the lengthy closing two tracks. ‘Freikorps’ combines the malevolent with the melodic and closes out with subtly sinister atmospherics but is good rather than great. While tracks one, two and four are the best, ‘Death Winged Majesty’ is easily on a par and provides Weddir with another opportunity to show us what he is capable of. Direct in its approach, diverse in its dynamics, and richly textured, it closes the album out on a depressive low that is curiously cathartic and satisfying.
An album that like so many, dips – albeit slightly – in the middle, it has to be said that Weddir is an exceptional musician with keen compositional skills and a distinct desire to push where he can. While not always successful, Pillars Of Detest is an impressive piece of work that takes more chances than most would dare. Given the diversity across the album, Weddir could easily have fallen foul of his ambition but his defiant and daring approach is well rewarded. Well worth your time.
7.5 out of 10
- Ad Nauseam
- Believe & Behead
- Long Time Awaited Funeral
- Pillar Of Detest – World Shroud
- All Born Sick
- Death Winged Majesty