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Pest: The Crowning Horror

It’s heavy metal, and it’s going to smack you with a mace

Sweden’s Pest – not to be confused with the German and Finnish Pests – play black metal the old way. Strangely, they manage rough’n’ready in the best tradition of the old school, and thanks to a killer mix from Fred Estby, The Crowning Horror still packs more punch than a coach-load of boxers. Old school is definitely the name of the game, and that means plenty of Bathory, a hint of Hellhammer and a chunk of Darkthrone.

Pest share the Norwegians’ knack for mixing punky lo-fi with incredibly catchy riffs. Holocaust is straight from the book of 80s all-out buzzsaw black metal, but Volcanic Eyes takes a more NWOBHM approach, and on songs like Devil’s Mark, they slow down for a darker, more gothic-flavoured take on black metal.

It’s on tracks like this that they sound most distinctive, especially on standout cuts Thirteen Chimes and Eternal Curse. Fans of Nifelheim and Damnation may find plenty to sink their teeth into.