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I used to think I had the sound of a Bindrune/Eihwaz album nailed down: hot midrange, distant vocals, longform black metal with a strong American folk leaning. Their most well-known artists, like Panopticon and Falls of Rauros, follow this template.

Minneapolis's Pestifere is a little different. Songs like "Don't Let Winter Take You" are more condensed and punchy - by the time the song hits its halfway mark, the band has introduced a new riff every 30 seconds. Hints of thrash and melodic death metal keep their entire album, Hope Misery Death, moving forward at a brisk pace. And while these are gorgeous melodies, meditative Pestifere are not. Which is fitting, considering how urgent their lyrical bent is: The toll mankind takes on the environment weighs heavy on their minds. It's common and easy for metal bands to admire natural splendor, but far less common for bands to put some lyrical skin in the game of preserving that nature. Through a real-world lens, dendrophilic bands are like big game hunters with no stake in conservancy efforts. Even if you're no naturalist, well, at least Hope Misery Death rips.

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"Don't Let the Winter Take You" lyrics:
The spring thaw can’t come soon enough
The wind bites as though it never will

Chasing the horizon through cold torment
over paved isolation
A race to lessen the spell of winter
whose weight tempers the naked soul

At dawn the sun gives complexion
A brief hope before the cold veil of dusk

The charcoal sky pulls and steals
Takes from me my place
and instead instills
a weighted stone deeply burrowed

When the light leaves the earth
when the life leaves the ground
it is time for the heart to slow and the jaw to clench
in the winter dread your cowardice
know its domain but don’t give in

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Hope Misery Deathwill be released on July 15 via Eiwhaz/Bindrune.Follow Pestifere on Facebook.

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