The music behind “Flint” starts off with a slam type riff. Groove laden quarter notes on the guitar and bass sit over Steve’s 16th note carpet rolls and pounding rim shots. 200 BPM of power are unleashed right from the start. “FLINT” is the 2nd fastest song Pestilent Age has written and by far the most complex guitar centered song to date. While the entire song is in the key of B, three different scales are utilized. An intro riff in B Phrygian quickly changes into a B Phrygian Dominate riff before again changing into a B diminished. The song repeatedly weaves between these three musical themes. With a song as fast as “Flint” making big changes in the musical direction can alleviate monotony as well as define movements within the song better. Pestilent Age has taken this approach with past songs. Metallica makes common use of this technique and was the initial inspiration for these concepts. “Master of Puppets” switches between E Phrygian and E Minor frequently yet the two scales are similar enough to work especially when a note in both scales is used to pedal between them.
Other large noticeable concepts in “Flint” include Spud’s bass guitar in the chorus section. Throughout the writing process of these 8 singles Pestilent Age has made it a point to make some of the bass lines veer from the guitar riffs they accompany. The introduction of bass leads as well as solo bass sections has played to this goal but the chorus to “Flint” is different. Rhythmically the bass follows the drums more than the guitar and within the scope of general music theory the bass arpeggios through chords played more simplistically on Roach’s guitar. End results of this approach sound simple with just enough underlying complexity to keep things interesting. Spud had not been much of a bass player before Pestilent Age and these songs are a testament to his undying dedication. Day after day, week after week, and month after month the improvement to his craft becomes more noticeable. Such improvements have allowed him to play both faster and more accurately. “Flint” offered the chance to debut this ability. In the past Spud’s bass lines during more intense sections have been half timed. While Roach plays 16th notes Spud plays 8th notes. This works well as a bass frequency develops much slower than a guitar frequency but on “Flint” the bass plays the same lines exact for most of the song building a sonic wall that hits extremely hard.
Steve’s drumming find himself utilizing some new tricks in “Flint” as well. The chorus section features a Pete Sandoval style blast. Drum rolls in the pre-chorus align with the riffs exact on this song to hit home the basic rhythmic patterns to perfection, a vital point to a song composed at such a high tempo. 16th note double bass beats at 200 BPM while relatively simple push Steve’s speed boundaries and move Pestilent Age into an entirely new tempo zone for song writing. An up-tempo song stresses the importance of proper accenting, something Pestilent Age has been working hard at, and an area that was stressed to the max on these high tempo songs.
Vocally the delivery Roach puts forth is reminiscent of old-school Death Metal bands. Made up mostly of guttural lows, a single track makes up the entire song. Other singles will feature heavily doubled highs, high and low tracks mixed together, and at times multiple vocal tracks panned differently for a wide stereo effect, however for “Flint” the challenge of filling out a recording with a single vocal track something Roach experimented heavily with. Few vocalist of any genre feature a single vocal track. This is just why Pestilent Age did it. These singles have offered the band and opportunity to move each song into a different production direction. Hopefully you enjoy it.