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PESTE UMBRARUM - Night Shines Eternal

Released July 17/18 (Bandcamp)

Here we have the debut demo from Portland black metallists Peste Umbrarum, consisting of four tracks over 32 minutes. Opener 'Night Shines Eternal' rages akin to the mighty Thy Primordial, piercing and melodic guitar phrasing taking turns centre stage. A fine introduction, to be sure. Initiated with a spooky intro before plowing headlong into a slow march, 'Umbrae de Gallows Dolor' changes gears allowing the band to create a doomed and desolate atmosphere. 'Dead To The World' follows, being the highlight track of the package. Starting with a memorable, savage riff before switching to bulldozer and then traditional black phrasing, this song in particular displays the band's potential.

While the production is a little weak (it is a demo after all) and the tracks tend to outlive their welcome, there's no doubting that Peste Umbrarum will likely have much to offer the black metal underground in the future. They already have the required black atmosphere down, instrumental skills are high and their vocalist (Caasimolar) has a mighty fine set of pipes. They simply need to work a little more on song craft by tightening up movements to a more consumable 5 minutes per track (instead of 8+). A good start.

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