Pith: Baptisms Along the Acheron

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Pith: Baptisms Along the Acheron
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Pith: Baptisms Along the Acheron
Death Metal, Doom Metal
Diminished Fifth Records
April 16th, 2013
Release length: 11:35
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Pith is a mixed breed group out of Halifax, Canada. The four piece, including Myles Desk on drums and vocals, known for his work in Cauldron and former Hellacaust, as well as Troy Kirker on bass guitar, who is an active member of :Hellacaust. This Black Metal, Death Metal, Doom Metal hybrid has laid low in the underground since forming in 2007, only issuing a four song EP, aptly titled fORE, through Diminished Fifth Records in 2012. About a yeah later, Pith return, but with a brand new eleven minute plus single titled Baptisms Along the Acheron. With the band clearly being overlooked by many, and with very little to go on, is this single worth the year long wait for those who happen to know what the band is capable of?

The audio for this release actually isn’t too bad, and ends up rather varied. The bass guitar comes off as a mid-level pitch that sounds more effective in the faster and heavier areas that hit later on. The guitars do differ, having more of a cleaner sound in the slower sections, and a much harsher distortion and heaviness when things pick up. The bass kicks have a nice click, and the cymbals are crisp with a slight echo, while the snares have a tighter snap to them that sticks out the most of the kit. Finally, you have the vocals, which are pretty low when handled as clean singing, understandable for their placement, but really pack a great deal of enthusiasm when you are met with a primal scream or guttural Death Metal approach.

“Baptisms Along the Acheron” is one long track, but in a way it ends up being two slammed into one. The first part is a very haunting, gloomy Doom Metal performance that even Peter Steele would greatly appreciate. The low clean singing sometimes is a bit off, but it still matches the overall dismal and hopeless atmosphere being woven before the guitars and drums crash in against a higher primal scream, eventually shifting into deep gutturals. About five and a half minutes in, the pace picks up, and the music just assaults you with a quicker Death Metal performance that jumps in and out of extremely catchy riffs and high speed brutality in other passages that hammer away at the listener, especially near the furious end of pounding drums just shy of blastbeats, and matching guitar work. There is another slower Doom Metal passae that creeps up later, but’s far less emotional until the pace slows down once more for the gloom and doom that started it out, but a bit less emotional.

This single seems to only be available as a digital download through Diminished Fifth Record’s Bandcamp page at a “Name your price” cost. But, on top of potentially being a free download based on how charitable you are, it also includes a music video for the track. This is nothing more than clips from the studio woven together, live footage, and some rarely used b-roll for effect. It’s not impressive, but does at least give a visual representation of the band working with the song, as qwell as get an idea of what they’re like if you catch them live.

For having a solid year between an EP and this single, “Baptisms Along the Acheron” honestly the most amazing example of Doom and Death Metal out there, but it’s also far from bad. It’s a consistant track that, despite feeling like it’s two songs cut up and slapped together at times, it still flows smoothly from start to finish, and does present some decent atmospheres here and there. Baptisms Along the Acheron isn’t a single you’ll get get bored of, infact it makes for a great addition to any Doom or Death Metal compilation or MP3 playlist, and the additional video is a nice touch by he band and/or the label. If you enjoy creepy Doom Metal, with or without more of a Progressive touch in the combination of Death Metal, this one will peak your interest. It’s just a shame that, after all this time, we still only seem to have five songs from Pith.

01. Baptisms Along the Acheron – 11:35 Initial Pressing Score: 7.5/10

Pith

Digital review copy of this release provided by Diminished Fifth Records via Red Tentacle PR.