Pleading for a Better Future on Ushangvagush’s “Pestmo’qon”

Published: September 18, 2023

Writing a 45 minute long song is an undertaking. Granted, writing a 45 minute long album is, as well, but keeping a central idea and momentum going for such an extended period of time is laudable. Considering Ushangvagush‘s 10-track 2021 debut Mntu is just barely shorter than this new, single-song effort, sole musician D.’s longest effort yet is by far their most groundbreaking and distinctive.

In an interview I conducted with Ushangvagush creator D. at defunct zine The Call of the Night, this artist referred to Mntu as something inward, referring to the album’s title, which translates to “devil” in the indigenous Miq’maq language, as something inward. The world feels like a devil when looking inward, but also D.’s own inner demons make themself feel like a devil, as well.

On new album Pestmo’qon, which translates to “starvation,” D. looks at the world at large, and it is starving. The Earth itself is starving at hands of humankind’s disconnect with nature, and a more incensed Ushangvagush damns the human world for its own self-destruction. This is reflected musically in a more aggressive, but also polar performance. The riffs are angrier and heavier, but the spaces between Pestmo’qon‘s furies are beautiful, sun-baked ambiance and post-rock. Considering D.’s pedigree, having once been a member of legendary 2000s screamo and post-hardcore band L’Antietam, this dynamics-forward songwriting comes naturally for this seasoned and varied musician.

Across its length, Ushangvagush blasts and melts into many different forms, but what makes this particular album so special is that it doesn’t feel as long as it actually is. Remaining exciting and interesting across its 45 minute stay, Pestmo’qon is a refreshing new entry into the ever-changing US black metal landscape. The world is starving, but so are we, in a way. Our callousness and carelessness got us here, and Ushangvagush’s blanket damnation of humankind’s own reckless self-centeredness is a brutal reminder that our time here is limited. Resources are finite, and we feel the consequences of our actions already. Soon they will be much, much worse.

Listen to Pestmo’qon in its entirety below.

Pestmo’qon releases September 22nd via Realm & Ritual.

The post Pleading for a Better Future on Ushangvagush’s “Pestmo’qon” appeared first on Invisible Oranges - The Metal Blog.

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