On thier debut full-length this San Antonio, Texas war metal band comprised of Hod and Thornspawn members offer a seemingly endless hammer to the throat that only becomes more furious and incontestably evil with every listens. If you’re expecting a continuation of Thornspawn‘s 2000 era black/death style you have the right mindset to absorb the Morbosidad-like blinding fury and Christ-strangling attitude of ‘Beast of the Foulest Depths’. Because the two guitarists at hand had similar goals in their left hand path in the decade previous Pious Levus ultimately offers a continuation of that old school war metal sound without any greater nuance or thematic reaches. You’re getting an ear-scraping blast of hellish, raw and flailing noise with this album and shouldn’t expect anything more or less.
My own experience with war metal is limited to the last decade and I tend to lean heavily towards the slightly more precise performances of Archgoat and Teitanblood and with a less developed taste in all sides of the sub-genre I typically approach it as a sub-division of black metal more than anything else. Pardoning some of my ignorance I find the crossover into slower pacing to be some of the least consistent points of ‘Beast of the Foulest Depths’. I do love what they’ve done on songs like “Crimson God Possession” with hallucinatory guitar bends and all it is a brilliant highlight for the album. Although a bit later on in the record “Demon Xusha’s Invocation” sounded a bit like a garage punk band covering Mortem (Peru). I only judge the slower moments more harshly because the majority of the record is a full-bore blur.
The bulk of this album is raw and blasphemous warrior-worthy stuff. Though it might be mind-numbingly traditional in style that is clearly the point as they invoke influences from extreme thrash, first wave black metal, and seek the bone-snap of Blasphemy and Sarcófago. War metal isn’t meant to be progressive music but rather a bestial mutation of many scenes and influences. In this sense Pious Levus are successful in creating an album that continues the ethos of Thornspawn but amplifying the abrupt and raw elements of that collaboration. There are a handful of more distinct and less orthodox war metal records out this year but I still wouldn’t suggest passing Pious Levus up if you’re at all into the sub-genre.
|Released||May 5, 2018|
|BUY/LISTEN on Warfare Noise Productions’ Bandcamp!||Follow Pious Levus on Facebook|
Cleansed aflame. 3.25/5.0
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