Label: Osmose Productions
Date: September 30th, 2022
This is the perfect black metal album. It’s got ravaging screaming vocals, sharper than a razorblade, ice cold riffing, unrelenting assault on the drums, a nuclear explosion of bass, dark and utterly blasphemous, hate-fueled lyrics… Even the production work summarizes the genre. Not to mention all the clichés available in the band’s logo (reeking of Mr. Christophe Szpajdel) and only slightly less objectionable cover artwork. With the title as such, what can you expect more?
Me, I expected something to happen. At any given moment during these almost forty minutes of black metal annihilation. A sign that the sophomore record by these Germans could be a signpost out of mediocrity and anonymity. Really, “Sathanas Grand Victoria” sounds exactly like a record Osmose Productions are most recognized for. In the 1990’s, of course. Quarter of a new century in, and we’ve got a neat reproduction of the glory days of Scandinavian second wave. These four Germans almost completely ignore their native black metal history in order to present you with a summary of the north.
I mean, you’ve heard black metal before, right? There’s no obvious need for me to dive deeper into something you all know by heart. Here’s the short version of “Sathanas Grand Victoria”. Marduk and their early ferocity. Impaled Nazarene for the same, but also a brutish disgust towards morality. Horna with their atmospheric approach to frosty guitars. Dark Funeral with “hidden” dark melodies. Watain’s harmonizing. Mayhem’s variety in the vocal work. Gorgoroth’s approach to Satanism.
And Celtic Frost for the “Ugh” in “We Deny Thy Name”.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is that this is the perfect black metal album you’ve all heard before. Many times, at that. Armies of uncritical black metal fans are what will save this record from oblivion. There’s no other way. Simply because Pestlegion gives us nothing worth remembering or saving for posterity. And not only that, but it seems like they’re not even interested in doing so. Listening to “Sathanas Grand Victoria” doesn’t show a single glimpse into the bright future where the quartet will display their own visions and ideas towards the development of the genre.
Sadly, without it, Pestlegion is destined to be forgotten among the thousands of similar acts, even if the promotional machinery that is Osmose Productions gives wind to their wings. These wings are still underdeveloped to fly on their own and this record proves it.
If I were to point to a bright side of “Sathanas Grand Victoria”, it would be that the album is correctly performed, crafted by people who’ve done their homework correctly. They are knowledgeable, skilled and well-versed in the genre at hand. Hence, the listening sessions are definitely not a waste of time. There’s material here to band your heads and scream for the fallen one. Unfortunately, it all perishes from one’s mind as soon as the record stops spinning.