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)