THE HOWLING WIND
"Pestilence & Peril"

(Profound Lore)

01. Projections
02. Sin Continuum
03. Virulence 33
04. Southaven
05. Stealth Eugenics
06. Forced into the Pits of Technology
07. Deadlands
08. The Inevitable Conclusion

RATING: 7.5/10

Ryan Lipynski ("Killusion") captained the experimental and now defunct THRALLDOM through three albums, as well as doing time with sludge monsters UNEARTHLY TRANCE. With THE HOWLING WIND, Lipynski channels his creative energies into a more traditional, though no less invigorating, black metal project that is as fierce and soot covered as it gets.

"Pestilence & Peril" is not a groundbreaking or experimental release, yet it has still got a character all its own. The real appeal of "Pestilence & Peril" is in the manner that Lipynski manages to write songs that have all the groove and old school bleakness of a band like DARKTHRONE, yet in no way sounds like a rip off of the black metal kings. But the DARKTHRONE reference should be taken with a grain of salt and is only indicative of those moments on "Pestilence & Peril" that move in a way that has nothing to do with obscure musical passages and everything to do with blood pumping malice. The compositions that go from an up-tempo BM gallop to a chilling, doomy plod are particularly captivating. In addition, the occasional spooky, instrumental piece, such as "Southaven" and opener "Projections" fit snugly with the more conventional tracks. More importantly, the pieces are assembled in a way that makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts. If there are two things that Lipynksi understands it is musical cohesion and mood creation

The ominous air and dark tones heard on albums from UNEARTHLY TRANCE and especially THRALLDOM are still present. The atmosphere created is one that cannot be learned; some get it, but most don't. There is just something about a project like this that transcends sound and effects the listener by inducing feelings of moroseness and a palpable dread that is all consuming. All of it adds up to holistic black metal experience that is miles from contrived. Then again, what would you expect from not only a Lipynksy project, but a Profound Lore release?

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