The opening track ‘…In The Ghostly Haze’ from this Belarusian band rolls into a bleak life like Skepticism meeting Nortt on a last frostbitten walk through the woods; crushingly downbeat, but like frost it forces open cracks you might not want to widen. But widen it does out onto ‘Wastelands Of Plague’. It’s a dense sound, thick and cloying which adds an oddly muffled sound. There’s a sharpness lacking to the drum sound and things kind of overlap and seep into each other. The odd thing is it works. With howling, deranged vocals lashing around this miasma, occasionally broken by some eerie clean singing, and a slow stream of funeral melody the music becomes very other worldly.
‘Call Of The Dead’ is even more ponderous. The distant howled vocals, a basic Burzum-esque riff stretched into an unsettling, gnawing lead line.
‘A Cacophony Of Spiritual Transition ‘ begins with crackling fire, whispered voices or winds, something between chanting and throat singing wandering around the scene. A guitar invades and drags it into a muddy, lo-fi squall. Imagine Ildjarn playing early Forteresse… ‘Grotesque Abomination’ finds speed and momentum but no greater clarity. The mix is still wading down tunnels in a grey haze. But listen hard and you will hear thought out passages, sinuous turns of tempo, atmospheric riffs… ‘With Splendor Of The Night’ continues. The music is reminiscent of the land inspired black metal of many bands but with a darker heart and a different focus. More occult in feel. ‘Fog Of Death’ rages, burns fiercely. Pyre Of The Forgotten ‘ commits everything to ash.
Pa Vesh En is a difficult prospect. There is no new path here, but I’m more than content with that. You have to be able not to see past the production and mix, but to embrace it, which I can. Once there this is a fine release; lo-fi, determined, thought through and atmospheric. Not to everyone’s taste but if atmospheric and funeral paced black metal in a pure, raw form is for you then Pa Vesh En are worthy of attention.