Friday, November 29, 2013

Pestilence (Holland): "Obsideo” (Candlelight Records)

Pestilence (Holland): "Obsideo” (Candlelight Records)
The music of Pestilence seems to cause many differing views, most likely on account of the constant style changes from album to album. Nevertheless, the 2009-to-the-present Pestilence appears to have settled on continuing on the path of brutal/technical/blasting death metal.
As expected, this post-reformation Pestilence chugging stop-start style is praised by some, while totally rejected by others. Closer to the truth is that it depends on one’s views on fast, blasting, intense woof-woof music. If the listener wants memorable riffs like on the 1988, 89 and 91 albums, then, Houston, we have a serious problem of unmet expectations. This is lots of chugging, zig/zag rhythms, low-string plucking in a mosquito-attention-span manner.
What does all the foregoing reveal? Well, actually, not as much as one would think. It might mean that this is too wacky even for some death metal listeners; or that Pestilence cannot/will not for the life of them figure out how to do a memorable riff anymore; or, that this music is for musicians; or, that this is great stuff mostly for moshing when it is played live.
Nor is it completely correct that one cannot remember this music. I don’t have a particularly good memory, but I certainly do remember parts of these songs, certain rhythms, solos, vocal and drum patterns. It’s easy to complain about Pestilence. It is also probably true that no album with the name Pestilence will ever reach the level of classic as “Consuming Impulse” because that was a special time. Approach this as Pestilence 2013, different era and lineup making music and one will find that “Obsideo” has many positive elements.

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