Pestilence
Obsideo

Ok, here is a brief history of Pestilence & some out there may have similar viewpoints.  Their first 3 albums are legendary in my book, therefore pointless to comment on.  The 1993 release of their progressive, jazz-fusion hybrid death metal album, Spheres, polarized their fan base so much that fans dropped off the face of the earth and the band, disgruntled with the scene and backlash, packed up their shit and called it a day.  I did not like Spheres when it came out until many years later & the album was way ahead of its time. The public were not ready for it.  To this day I not only appreciate what the band set out to do with the album, but I love it to death!  2009 saw the Pestilence reunion album, in the form of the stunning Resurrection Macabre.  One of my favorite albums that year and the band incorporated blast beats into their sound, Mameli going more guttural and the album is brutal. The quirky grunting of each album song title, in the beginning of each song actually is quite catchy.  2 years ago the band released Doctrine, which is their weakest release.  Something was missing to give it that extra oomph and Mameli’s decision to sing in a higher register grated on my nerves.

Enter in Obsideo and I will say this is one of their strongest albums ever and one of my favorites for 2013.  The best way to describe this is take the technical and atmospheric sounds of Testimony of the Ancients and combine that with the sheer brutality of Resurrection Macabre and some Spheres like moments and there you have it.  The blast beats have returned ten fold and new drummer David Haley is incredible on this.  The title track opens the album with a scorching blast beat and Mameli’s vox sound very similar to TOTA, he sounds incredible!  Nice little ditty of a guitar solo at the 2.50 mark then right into a blast beat.  Groove comes in next with fast double bass.  “Displaced” is one of Pestilences’ finest songs and opens with a killer old school thrash beat, coupled with blast beats.  A minute and a half later some killer keyboards, nice guitar solos and the alternating tempos, which are on this song and the rest of the album are incredible to hear.  This tune has some killer heavy grooves too.  “Necromorph” sees Mr. Haley taking center stage with his fills, blast beats and really tasty drumming.  Heavy tune with some killer effects thrown in.  Mameli sings in a higher register on this song, that is similar to what he did on Doctrine, but not as grating.  You also have other highlights like on the tune “Soulrot” with its killer guitar riff, brutal blast beats and guitar melodies and “Transition” which brings forth the eerie keyboards again with ferociously heavy, punishing start/stop riffing.

The entire album slays and the songs are really short, which I’m ok with.  My only complaint, and it’s a small one, is the fact that a few songs end rather abruptly, like they just stopped playing without a proper ending.  But really the album is 110% Pestilence sounding, awesomely brutal and creative.  The musicianship and production are top notch.  Killer album cover, with a nice booklet equipped with pics and lyrics.  No brainer; Obsideo is one of the best this year.  Buy or Die!!!!!!!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
December 17th, 2013

Comments

  1. Commented by: E. Thomas

    Best since getting back together


  2. Commented by: vugelnox

    I could not get into this at all. It’s slightly better than the last two albums but all three of them are so far removed in quality from their early material that Mameli really should have changed the band name.


  3. Commented by: F. Rini

    Yep, Erik, album is a scorcher. Vugelnox-thx for responding. I think if the band continued with its exact sound from the 90’s we would be looking at a very dated sounding album. Those albums are legendary and I love them to death. While the band has now incorporated a more brutal approach to their sound with the heavier styled riffing and blast beats it’s partially due to new members in the band, as well as being able to stay relevant with the times. It’s like anything like working a job. If you don’t stay relevant and up to date on the latest trends in technology etc… than you are left behind for someone younger and smarter to come along and take over. I still feel given some of the changes to their musical approach over these last 3 albums that they still sound like Pestilence and have not missed a beat. But I respect your opinion. \m/


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