Brough to us by members of Corpsessed and Desolate Shrine, The Ashen Abhorrence contains 42 minutes of authentic second wave black metal. Worshipping at the altar of the 90s classics, Pestilent Hex combine elements of bands such as Emperor, Gehenna, Satyricon, Dimmu Borgir, and Arcturus, while injecting their own grim character, to produce an enjoyable slice of symphonic blackened art.
The music has been crafted and shaped by people that clearly know the style well, and are passionate about its delivery. The band offer more than simple hero worship though, and The Ashen Abhorrence delivers a vision of black metal that takes strong influence from the past to better forge its own future.
The album flows like frozen malice as it unfolds in all of its dark majestic grandeur. The symphonic aspects add real value to the songs, while remaining unobtrusive to the blackened groove and searing blast beats. The use of melody to help the songs develop is engaging, and the entire album is steeped in esoteric atmosphere and night sky moods. The high pitched screams are perfectly judged for this sort of music, and I could listen to them all day.
How much tolerance you have for a band like this that is so closely taking influence from the classic 90s style will be quite individual of course, but The Ashen Abhorrence is undeniably an accomplished work. I can’t help but enjoy this sort of material, and Pestilent Hex play it more authentically and better than most these days.