PESTILENCE – Obsideo

Pestilence - ObsideoRegarding the band’s new album,  ObsideoPESTILENCE mainman Patrick Mameli has been quoted as saying, “The musicianship is such high quality; it is really ten of the most demanding songs written in death metal.”  While that statement may have you believe that the band have written the most over the top technical masturbation of all time, Obsideo is actually a very straight forward and catchy album.  It is most certainly technically proficient like all PESTILENCE albums but the song always comes first and there are no self-indulgent parts just for the sake of showing off musical skills.

Obsideo is easily better than its predecessor Doctrine.  Simplicity finds a good marriage with complexity.  Patrick Mameli‘s vocal lines are thankfully a ton better this time around. New members drummer Dave Haley (PSYCROPTIC) and bassist George Maier are quality additions.  Dave Haley is tight, fast, and has seamless drum parts.   George Maier brings the bottom end and is stylistically very different from the departed Jeroen Paul Thesseling.  Don’t expect the big bass farts or slides of the Jeroen.

Armed with 8-string guitars, the band incorporate a lot of dissonance, tempo changes, and lighting quick fretboard action. Some riffs/parts often sound eerily familiar though.

The bottom line is that Obsideo is pretty cool.  It’s one of the catchiest death metal albums to come along recently.  Is it a game changer?  No.  But it is a good return to form for one of the genre’s pioneers. (Candlelight Records)

New PESTILENCE Album to Feature “The Highest Form of Brutal Music”

Pestilence - Obsideo
The new PESTILENCE album, Obsideo, is set for  November 11th U.S. release via Candelight Records.

“We have gone beyond our human limits to achieve the highest form of brutal music,” states mainman Patrick Mameli. “The musicianship is such high quality; it is really ten of the most demanding songs written in death metal.”

“I am chuffed to have Dave [Haley] in the lineup,” confirmed Mameli earlier this year while discussing the band’s updated cast. “He is one of the best extreme drummers in the world and his talent bring PESTILENCE to new levels. George [Maier] is a young and talented bass player that will turn some heads. Both are really down to earth and real easy going guys. Patrick [Uterwijk], of course, is my most respected and long-going friend and musician.”

Obsideo boasts Mameli and eight-string guitars for the album’s recording, the celebrated musician expands his already massive arsenal of riffs. “The eight string guitar opens a lot of doors,” notes Mameli. “It gives lots of new musical options and allows us to make the music sound more brutal than before.  It also forces me to sing in a higher pitch because I don’t want my vocals in the way of the low-tuned guitar parts.  My vocals sound more intense and manic than before.”

Let’s see if these descriptions add up to a better album than their last lackluster effort.

DYING FETUS – History Repeats…

Maryland based veterans DYING FETUS were heavily influenced by the underground death metal scene in the early 1990’s, so it’s quite fitting that the band pays homage to their influences on History Repeats…

FETUS has covered ground from the most popular bands in death metal, such as with CANNIBAL CORPSE’s “Born in a Casket” or NAPALM DEATH’s “Unchallenged Hate,” but they don’t forget about the underrated bands, either.

Their cover of BOLT THROWER’s “Unleashed Upon Mankind” might even sound better than the original, and the PESTILENCE cover of “Twisted Truth” is up to par as well. Some bands deserved more credit than they received, such as BROKEN HOPE, and FETUS’ rendition of “Gorehog” is brutal and sounds extremely close to the original. The band also covers an obscure but heavily underrated slam/groove/death metal band from New York, called DEHUMANIZED, and they nail “Fade Into Obscurity” to a T. Throw in “Rohypnol,” an original DYING FETUS track exclusive to this EP, and you’ve got yourself another worthy release from this hard working trio.

While some bands try to experiment or change the original songs too much, things can get a bit blurry, but DYING FETUS sticks to the originals as closely as possible. It’s a treat for old school death metal fans to hear these classic tracks updated in DYING FETUS fashion, and at the same time gives the younger generation a feel for how great these original songs were. (Relapse Records)

PESTILENCE- Doctrine

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)

OBSCURA – Omnivium

OBSCURA appeals to fans of “math metal,” or bands that have thousands of riffs per song who try and be as technical as possible. Obviously with ex-members of NECROPHAGIST, OBSCURA attracts fans of the progressive/technical metal subgenre, such as THE FACELESS, CYNIC, ATHEIST, and MESHUGGAH just to name a few. However, they may provide more depth and personality than the bands mentioned. The previous album, Cosmogenesis, produced some mind boggling riffs with amazing and unique bass lines delivered by Jeroen Paul Thesseling, but Omnivium goes into throwback mode, as the music is generally in the vein of the debut album, Retribution. Like Retribution, Omnivium is a little more brutal and spiced up than their last effort, but still technical enough so that guitar and drum nerds will still be amazed with the musicianship.

Septuagint” starts the album innocently enough, with lush acoustic guitars, followed by a safe melodic riff, until the brutality of the blast beats and frantic guitar work kick in. As “Vortex Omnivium” begins with a brutal section, towards the end of the track, Thesseling’s influences are brought to center stage with a funky bass line that works well, and a lot more pronounced than the bass lines he played on the much maligned Spheres album by PESTILENCE.

There are some weak spots in the album, as “Ocean Gateways” is on the doomy side, and tries to sound a tad like MORBID ANGEL’s “God of Emptiness,” which does not mesh well in between the fast tracks. Showing off too much can be overkill and bring the album down, like when “Prismal Dawn” has too many scales played at 10x speed, and makes it sound more like a practice/jam session structured within a song.

The lengthy album starts to drag a bit during the middle tracks such as with “Celestial Spheres,” because too many notes are all over the place without giving the music a chance to breathe – the experience can be quite overwhelming at times. Fortunately, “Velocity” picks the brutality back up and awakens the senses with a fine balance of jazz interludes and grinding blasts. OBSCURA throws in their proggy elements for good measure in the beautiful “A Transcendental Serenade,” with some lovely bass parts, jazzy drum patterns, and overall godly guitar sweeps and solos. Finishing off the auditory blitz comes “Aevum,” with catchy hooks and crushing blast beats from hell; thus completing the heavy dose of guitar and drum wizardry.

Omnivium deserves many repeated listens, not only because the album clocks in at just under an hour, but because of the many layers involved. The amazing bass work, guitar picking, arpeggios, and drum techniques will all satisfy the thirst of the ultimate music nerd within us. OBSCURA fits the Relapse roster perfectly (i.e. ORIGIN, ABYSMAL DAWN) with their brutal and technical style, but they definitely lead the pack in terms of songwriting, jaw dropping musicianship and proficiency. (Relapse Records)

Rare Gems: Andreas Kisser’s Pre-SEPULTURA Band, PESTILENCE

Before Andreas Kisser brought his immense guitar and lyrical talents to SEPULTURA, he fronted a Brazilian band called PESTILENCE. And no, it’s not the same PESTILENCE from the Netherlands.

Check out this audio recording from the Municipal Theatre, Santo André, SP, Brazil on January 29, 1987 of “Slaves of Pain,” which would later appear on SEPULTURA‘s landmark album, Beneath the Remains. This is extremely rare stuff. Cheers goes to sabotaje77 for posting this.

HAIL OF BULLETS Finish Recording for Second Studio Album

Dutch death metal masters HAIL OF BULLETS have finished the recordings for their long-anticipated second full-length to be released this October.

Comments drummer Ed Warby (GOREFEST): “I don’t think I’ve ever worked this hard on anything in my entire life, but it sure has paid off! Although ‘Of Frost And War‘ is a tough act to follow, my ringing ears tell me we’ve succeeded in besting it on every level: songs, playing, production…at the moment Dan Swanö is putting the final touches on a mix that could squash a tank, and then it’s off to the pressing plant! All the main ingredients of our blood ‘n’ guts style death metal have remained intact and I honestly can’t imagine anyone that liked our previous work is going to be the least bit disappointed, on the contrary!”

The soon-to-be-titled album was produced by Ed Warby and like before, the mix was in the capable hands of Dan Swanö.

HAIL OF BULLETS
nailed down 11 songs plus intro.

More details on pre-orders, streaming MP3s, track listing, and the new artwork will be released shortly.

PESTILENCE, WARBRINGER, VITAL REMAINS @ Ultra Violet Social Club, Los Angeles (06/07/10)

A variety of metalheads gathered outside the Ultra Violet Social Club, a former strip club turned music venue, and were impatiently waiting for the countless opening bands to finish. Finally, as the blasphemous intro for “Where Is Your God Now” began, the legions of VITAL REMAINS fans went inside to see a short, but brutal set by the east coast death metal veterans. Like the sets from their recent tours, the band ripped through the Glen Benton-era hits, such as “Devoured Elysium” and “Hammer Down the Nails.” Vocalist Scott Wily got the crowd going when the intro for “Dechristianized” came on and blasted their way through the epic track. The crowd seemed to enjoy VITAL’s energy and passion, and will be eager to see them come back in a few months for the Summer Slaughter Tour.
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PESTILENCE Announce First U.S. Tour in 16 Years

Technical death metal legends PESTILENCE are pleased to announce their first US tour in over 16 years! The 17-date journey will kick off in Baltimore as part of the Maryland Deathfest at Sonar on May 30th and close at the Gramercy Theater in New York City on June 17. Support will be provided by WARBRINGER, VITAL REMAINS, ENFOLD DARKNESS and SACRIFICIAL SLAUGHTER. Advance tickets are on sale via enterthevault.com.

PESTILENCE released their first studio record since the critically acclaimed Spheres full-length(1994) with 2009’s Resurrection Macabre (Mascot Records). The band currently features vocalist/guitarist Patrick Mameli (C-187), returning bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling (OBSCURA), new drummer Yuma Van Eekelen (THE NEW DOMINION, BRUTUS) and guitarist Patrick Uterwijk.

PESTILENCE w/ WARBRINGER, VITAL REMAINS, ENFOLD DARKNESS, SACRIFICIAL SLAUGHTER:

5/30/2010 Sonar – Baltimore, MD (as part of Maryland Deathfest)*
5/31/2010 Club Mosaic – Chattanooga, TN **
6/01/2010 The Bar – New Orleans, LA **
6/02/2010 Emo’s – Austin, TX
6/03/2010 Ridglea Theater – Ft. Worth, TX
6/04/2010 Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
6/05/2010 Club Red – Tempe, AZ
6/06/2010 Ramona Mainstage – Ramona, CA
6/07/2010 Ultra Violet – Los Angeles, CA
6/08/2010 DNA Lounge – San Francisco, CA
6/09/2010 Satyricon – Portland, OR
6/10/2010 Studio Seven – Seattle, WA
6/13/2010 Station 4 – St Paul, MN
6/14/2010 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL
6/15/2010 Mod Club Theater – Toronto, ON **
6/16/2010 Les Foufounes Electriques – Montreal, QC **
6/17/2010 Gramercy Theater – New York, NY

* PESTILENCE only
** No WARBRINGER

PESTILENCE – Resurrection Macabre

Following the footsteps of their progressive/technical death metal peers from the 90’s, namely CYNIC and ATHEIST, Dutch legends PESTILENCE have “resurrected” and offered us a great blast from the past. The legacy of PESTILENCE ended on a sour note as the members were less interested in death metal and released the much detested Spheres album. Although ahead of its time, Spheres was a far cry from classics such as Consuming Impulse and Testimony of the Ancients, which turned off many, if not all the fans they had at the time.

Fortunately, PESTILENCE has returned! Resurrection Macabre starts off exactly where Testimony of the Ancients left off, as “Devouring Frenzy” attacks with a vengeance! While mainman Patrick Mameli‘s vocals pale in comparison to former PESTILENCE and current HAIL OF BULLETS frontman Martin Van Drunen, Mameli‘s vocals do the job, and the drumming and music make up for it. Drummer extraordinaire Peter Wildoer has been extremely busy in the last year, appearing on the new DARKANE, OLD MAN’S CHILD albums, and now lending his talents on Resurrection Macabre. His ability to blast and add intricate details enhance the PESTILENCE experience, which makes the album refreshing, instead of simply being Testimony of the Ancients Part II. “Horror Detox” has all the qualities that old PESTILENCE fans have been yearning for all these years, and with “Hate Suicide“, the band brings out the entire artillery, as pummeling blasts, double bass, and catchy riffs are all in check.

The classic PESTILENCE guitar riffs can be found on the track “Synthetic Grotesque” as Consuming Impulse flashes back into the listener’s head. Resurrection Macabre gets a bit dull towards the middle of the album, as there is much ground to cover in this 54 minute slab of pure death metal. The title track starts off similar to MORBID ANGEL‘s “Day of Darkness” and ends up as one of the slower tracks on the album. The intensity picks back up on “Hangman” with some superb drumming showcased by Wildoer. “In Sickness and Death” is a mid-paced track which contrasts to what comes next: re-recordings of three classics from Malleus Maleficarum, Consuming Impulse, and Testimony of the Ancients, respectively. Ironically, most of the songs on Resurrection Macabre are in the 3-4 minute range and the longest tracks are the re-recordings. The re-recorded versions are pretty much in tact in their original form, but it’s always nice to hear re-recorded versions with clean production of the classic songs.

Unfortunately, bass wizard Tony Choy‘s parts are not as prominent in the mix as his previous recordings with CYNIC or ATHEIST, but that has no ill effect on the album, as PESTILENCE fans can once again rejoice with this solid effort. If PESTILENCE calls it quits again, at least Resurrection Macabre will be a fitting end, instead of tarnishing their importance in death metal history, as they did with Spheres. (Mascot Records)

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