When PESTILENCE announced their reformation, hopes were high for Resurrection Macabre, especially after the band drifted into obscurity with the strange, jazz fusion influenced album, Spheres. Resurrection was a decent album with a few high points, but like most bands that take an extended break, that offering was only a mere shell of the greatness in which PESTILENCE once was. While nobody expects Doctrine to be compared to such classics like Consuming Impulse and Testimony of the Ancients, Doctrine is a complete flop and makes Resurrection Macabre look like a masterpiece.
After the mandatory intro, “Amgod” starts off promising with a catchy riff and blast beat only to slow down into a weak mid paced riff, which unfortunately is the theme of the entire album. When vocalist Patrick Mameli comes in with his first scream, it’s so heinous and atrocious that one can wonder how vocals of this caliber can be considered as professional, even within the underground death metal scene. Mameli has lost any growl or power he once had, and instead resorts to a hoarse and throaty scream. The album is a haphazard grab bag with “Doctrine” and “Salvation,” which contain slow, drawn out riffs, while other songs like “Malignant” or “Absolution” try to sound groovy and ultra heavy. Doctrine is uninspired, completely flat, and unworthy of the PESTILENCE moniker. New drummer, Yuma Van Eekelen is fantastic live, and does his best to spice up the songs, but the riffs are so bland that there’s not much that he, or fretless bass wizard, Jeroen Paul Thesseling, can do to improve the music.
Doctrine is disappointing in all aspects, as the album is a poor slab of half written riffs and hooks thrown together. Mameli should end PESTILENCE quietly at this time, so he doesn’t tarnish the history of the band further. Fans who are disappointed with this release should check out the latest HAIL OF BULLETS with ex-PESTILENCE vocalist Martin Van Drunen, or Thesseling’s other band, OBSCURA instead, because Doctrine leaves an unpleasant taste in your mouth. (Mascot Records)