Band – Ushangvagush

Album – Pestmo’qon

Country of Origin – USA

Genre – Raw Black Metal

Release Date – September 22, 2023

Label – Realm & Ritual (cassette)/Vigor Deconstruct (digital)

Author – Hayduke X


In 2021, D. the artist behind Ushangvagush released Mntu, which I placed at the number eleven spot on my year end list. In retrospect, with almost two years of listening since, I’d do some shuffling and Mntu would likely end up at about the seventh or eighth spot. In that article, I wrote: 


Ushangvagush is a solo First Nation Miq’maw project that releases its fury in the form of raw black metal. It’s an absolutely scorching debut full length. I can’t wait to hear what comes next.


I now know the answer to that implied question. Pesto’qon is what comes next and, even with sky high expectations, I’m not disappointed in the least. According to the promotional material sent by the label, the album title is a Mi’kmaq word meaning ‘starvation,’ hinting at thematic elements in the lyrics. Further, the promotional material says the lyrics lament: 


…man’s ongoing destruction of the earth and the complete disconnect between the human mind and the spirit of nature.


It’s clear that this project means something and stands for something. Vampyric black metal is cool and all, but the world is deep into an existential crisis. The art being created by D. points to this much more important reality. 


With that said, Pestmo’qon is not a call to arms exactly. There isn’t any hope to be found on the album. The bleak darkness suggests that we’ve gone too far. We’ve already murdered ourselves and the world around us. We’re on life support and the time left before the final switch is thrown is limited.


Musically, Pesto’qon picks up where Mntu left off, and then builds from there. Ferocious riffs devour all the light in the room. Relentless blasting pummels through the listeners temples, leaving dents, bruises, and trickles of blood and viscera to mix with the tears of defeat in realization of the world’s dark reality. D.’s harsh, throaty screams tear through our last shred of sanity, as we watch our final sunsets. All of this was on the debut. To this raw aggression, D. adds slower passages that may seem like breathers in their pacing and beauty, but are actually just ominous in a more subtle way. These are the passages that really set my teeth on edge, akin to walking through a beautiful, natural setting, only to realize that there is an immense amount of hidden rot.


Ushangvagush, with the pending release of Pestmo’qon, has moved from a project to watch into the realm of ‘must listen.’ Two essentially flawless releases in two attempts (discounting a very solid demo), is pretty impressive. Be sure to check this one out. It’s visceral, harrowing, haunting, and beautiful all at once.


The album, which is meant as one long-form song, has been split into two movements of roughly twenty-three minutes each to facilitate the two sides of a cassette and vinyl. Realm & Ritual is handling the cassette release, with vinyl promised (without further details) at some point in the future. Digital only is available through the Vigor Deconstruct Bandcamp page.




Biography:  Hayduke X has been writing for MoshPitNation since June of 2016. He is also a contributor to The Metal Wanderlust. Prior to joining the MoshPitNation team, Hayduke published reviews on his own blog Rage and Frustration. In addition, he has DJ’ed an online metal radio show of the same name as his blog, written for, done interviews for Metal Rules, and collaborated with The Art of B Productions to create video interviews with a wide variety of bands.