2018 has already been an extremely busy year for PA VESH EN. In the span of six months, this singular ‘n’ shadowy entity from Belarus released through IRON BONEHEAD the Dead Womb demo, the two-song A Ghost 7″, and a split album with TEMPLE MOON. Each step of the way, PA VESH EN has exhibited a stark ‘n’ unsettling style of black metal. From stifled-violence miserablism to seemingly formless drift, from bent-askew melodicism to echo-chamber murk, always with a tortured soul guiding everything, he’s almost effortlessly created a soundworld beyond compare – and has done so with the restlessness of a lost specter.
Now arrives Church of Bones, proving with no small amount of finality that PA VESH EN is creating some of the most mysterious and vital black metal of modern times. At seven songs spanning 37 minutes, Church of Bones feels far more vast than its otherwise-compact runtime suggests. If the preceding split with TEMPLE MOON marked a momentous shift toward total and utter desolation, then PA VESH EN dives deepest – and equally, both in manner and quality – into both the fog and the murk here, further developing that malodorous melodicism that likewise crept forth on the split. Returning to misery and comfort (and the comfort of misery), the long ‘n’ languorous landscapes laid out across Church of Bones beckon the listener in a most seductive manner, all before those cursed tendrils ensnare the subconscious and suck it dry, any last semblance of hope extinguished. This celestial drift-unto-descent feels somewhat familiar in the grand scheme of black metal which uses rawness as a weapon, and yet there’s that elusive X-factor (or, literally, just literal elusiveness) that makes PA VESH EN sound completely and utterly ALIEN.
Either way, PA VESH EN has triumphed with the masterful Church of Bones, truly finding his voice and singing the most damned songs. Will you enter that church and join in the choir?