Pestilent Age is back and man it feels good. As always, we’ve been extremely busy writing and recording new music. The single we are about to release is just the first of eight singles that will drop in the coming months. Releasing singles one by one has given us the opportunity to hyper-focus on our craft and experiment a great deal. Each song has been a chance to change our writing process, tweak our playing, change our tone, try new techniques, and execute different mix ideas. With the release of Novgorod we had bettered ourselves as musicians, however the music had been written side by side with the Medieval Holocaust songs. Since then we’ve grown both as people and as musicians. Hard at work, Pestilent Age has spent tireless hours bettering our craft. This time around we decided to take what we know about writing metal and expand our knowledge as far as we could. The results we hope will speak for themselves…. but that’s for you to decide.
The problem discussed in our first single “Nuclear Winter” is…. of course potential Nuclear Armageddon. With tensions over nuclear missile advancements rising in North Korea the United States has been reluctant to take concrete action because its fears the backlash from Russia and China could potentially drag us into WW3. With this kind of pressure looming the United States seems to waiting until the last minute to take any kind of action. It is known at this time that North Korea now has not just nuclear capabilities but also intercontinental ballistic missile systems now capable of reaching North America. With a political situation that seems to be deteriorating faster and faster, it would be no surprise that within the coming years we could see the 3rd use of a nuclear weapon. What would happen after such an event? If a domino effect were to take place “Mutually Assured Destruction” may be certain.
Lyrically “Nuclear Winter” describes a post-apocalyptic world. Large amounts of nuclear bombs detonating would throw dust into the air. This dust would block out the sun leaving fields of crops to die. Radiation would kill both crops and livestock. Water contamination would leave remaining farms u
nmanageable not just killing farmed resources, but also poisoning large amounts of the population miles from the blast zone. This loss of food would cause massive starvation and what food would be left available would sky rocket in price. The global economy would tank. Massive price increases on global goods combined with restructured trade deals among waring nations would trigger an economic demise.
Such sudden changes often brood before a government collapses. Massive loss in taxable income, the inability to borrow money from china, the loss of valuable natural resources, and an expensive war could implode the nations directly involved. “Nuclear Winter” uses these factors to inspire a bleak world full of anarchy, a crime ridden world that’s been starved far beyond the point of breaking. It offers very plausible scenarios and talks about the “what ifs” on problems most of the American public would rather not think about.
Roach’s vocals are becoming more polished. “Nuclear Winter” experiments with an entirely different type of highs. The results speak for themselves. Fuller and grittier this style will surely make its way into future Pestilent Age recordings. Past recordings have featured vocals that don’t stray far from the guitar melody. The phrasings would also go the entire length of the guitar melody. “Nuclear Winter” steps away from this trend. The vocals can be absent for a bar at a time carving out peaks and valleys within the song and letting the music breath. Overdubs are common place in “Nuclear Winter” and really make sections of the track pop out and emphasize riff changes.
Musically “Nuclear Winter” features a lot of new ideas from Pestilent Age. Rhythmically this song utilizes nothing but triplets while showcasing Pestilent Age’s first use of harmonic minor 7th chords. These chords sound eerie and lend to this track’s black metal sound. Similar to “Chemicals of Annihilation”, “Nuclear Winter” is structured in a simplistic manor using more traditional song structures. To keep things interesting a variety of tricks are used throughout the song. The bass and guitar trade patterns when the verse repeats maintaining a similar feel while delivering a fresh perspective. Spud makes another lead appearance which really opens up the song after 16 bars of hard chugging break down leading the song on after the final note from Roach’s guitar solo has been played.
Steve’s drum work plays an enormous role breaking up monotony in “Nuclear Winter” as well. The drums transitions each time the verse is played is vital to pushing this song forward. Skank blast, carpet rolls, and single bass drive beats make their way into this riff bringing it a new life with each repetition. Snare drum rim shots make the accented down beats sound monstrous and give this song drive. “Nuclear Winter’s” drums have a loose feel, a natural sway, only to lock in tighter than ever during the breakdown before dropping out onto the toms for the bridge.
All in all “Nuclear Winter” highlights a bunch of changes within our writing process. Some of these will be utilized more in future music while others may just be a snapshot of experimentation. This was the first track Pestilent Age actively attempted to write a song containing simple and contemporary structure. “Nuclear Winter” also marks the first time they attempted to step out of the world of the commonly used root/fifth power chords. Simple yet catchy, this song was fun to write and the challenges to write completely outside of our comfort zone made this song that much more enjoyable to record.
The greatest force that man has known capable of destroying all
Radiation and clouds of dust suffocates the world around us
Heaps of ash
Blocks the sun
Ominous millions dead
Just the dawn
Decades of illness
Nothing to eat
Total global collapse
Herds of people
Unlucky enough to survive the end result of our demise a barren world without sunlight incapable of growing food
Have we for living in this world