Pestilence
Resurrection Macabre


3.5
great

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
March 19th, 2009 | 100 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pestilence return after a 16-year hiatus with a powerful new batch of songs.

The past few years have seen the return of some great bands that disappeared a long time ago. We’ve had both At the Gates and Carcass come back and start playing shows all over the world. We’ve had Cynic and Believer take things one step further and release their first albums in over a decade, and we’ve still got Atheist on the way. Another band that was always mentioned within the same breath as these bands was Pestilence, and oddly enough they’re back too. I have to admit that of all these bands, Pestilence were the one that I was the least thrilled about. Their technical death metal was average at best and when they decided to dive into the jazz-fusion on Spheres it was pretty bad. Fortunately, I don’t really have to waste any time bringing people up to date on these albums because Resurrection Macabre takes very little from them.

Admittedly, a lot of the reason that I just can’t get into those older albums is the very weak productions (even for the time), but that’s not a problem here. Pestilence have traded the thin, flimsy productions of their past for a literal wall of sound. The drums are powerful and the double bass is thunderous at all times. The guitars have also discarded their weak sound, trading it for a thick, yet sharp, tone with plenty of bottom end. The actual riffs themselves need to be highlighted as well because not only do they finally sound good, but they actually are good. The band have entirely discarded the lifeless riffs that despite any speed they may have had, never seemed to have any power, aggression or energy behind them. The riffs here are semi-technical death metal riffs that have a constant chaotic feeling to them, but that also never let up on a minor sense of melody. While we’re pointing out improvements it must be mentioned that the thin growls of the past have also been replaced with deep guttural growls that are accentuated by backing black metal-ish growls.

So, it’s pretty well established that great changes were made but it’s still probably not all that clear what that really means for this album. If this album is your initial introduction to this band, just know that a close comparison could be made to Cannibal Corpse’s latest album if it was combined with Killing Technology-era Voivod. For those unfamiliar with those bands as well (go find that Voivod album!), a better description is probably in order. The band takes chaotic and heavy riffs and deliver them in combination with some very weird, almost atonal, sounding chords and notes. This riff-style is generally played over fast, technical beats but the structure of each song allows for a lot of weird breaks and pace-changes to keep the listener off-balance and the songs fresh. The band also isn’t above stopping on a dime to allow for the occasional bizarre and otherworldly sounding guitar solo over a jazzy backbeat. All of these improvements, as well as the overall stylistic change have made for a Pestilence album that still brings the technicality they were known for, but also introduces a heaviness and aggression they’ve never have.

Admittedly, the stylistic changes are pretty drastic and it remains to be seen whether old fans will really take to the modern Pestilence sound. For the rest of us that never really listened to them (and for those not scared of change), the band has released the best album in their career. It’s something that should instantly appeal to those into technical death metal, and will hopefully appeal to those older fans too. The band, almost as if extending an ‘olive branch’ to those older fans, have also included three re-recorded songs from previous albums (as chosen by the fans) and they’re really good now. With everything the band are doing right, I see really good things for them now just so long as they don’t find out Cynic has released “Traced in Air” and then start writing their next album.



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user ratings (117)
Chart.
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
March 19th 2009


16018 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ok, this isn't the original review I had written because I accidentally deleted it (along with my My Dying Bride review). So, if this seems like I wasn't really into writing it, it's because I wasn't into re-writing it at all.

Digging: Skrew - Universal Immolation

BallsToTheWall
March 19th 2009


44472 Comments


Well, I have Testimony of the Ancients rated at a 5 which technically makes it my highest rated and favorite death metal record of all time, so I need to GET THE HELL ON THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!! Ace review.

Digging: Tove Lo - Queen of the Clouds

Willie
Moderator
March 19th 2009


16018 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well shit, you're one of those people that might take issue with the new style then. I have that album rated at a 2.5 or 3 (I don't remember).

BallsToTheWall
March 19th 2009


44472 Comments


2.5? I don't see how, but I do plan on reviewing that some time hopefully soon.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
March 19th 2009


17215 Comments


looks good. i like their old stuff as well, but im fairly open to change.

Digging: Inigo Kennedy - Vaudeville

Willie
Moderator
March 19th 2009


16018 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

2.5? I don't see how, but I do plan on reviewing that some time hopefully soon.
The sound on it is too thin and the riffs (like I said above) just seem lifeless. They're too stiff and sterile. It's even worse on Spheres.

Have either of you checked out the new Believer album yet? If you like this band you should like them too. I just did an interview with the vocalist/guitarist yesterday (and then transcribed for over 5 hours). The guy is a Molecular Biologist that runs his own cancer research lab when not making metal.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
March 19th 2009


17215 Comments


wow, now thats a real job. I checked them out after reading your review of their latest. I really liked what I heard.

BallsToTheWall
March 19th 2009


44472 Comments


No, I have a habit of never getting around to checking out bands I don't know. I think i will, but I don't. Most likely will do the same thing again but I'll say there's a good chance of me myspacing them first.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 19th 2009


8368 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this sounds cool, never ben a fan of their earlier stuff, but I am going to check this out. Review was very good, very informative, but I would not expect anything less from you anyway Willie.

Willie
Moderator
March 19th 2009


16018 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

wow, now thats a real job. I checked them out after reading your review of their latest. I really liked what I heard.
Their new one is good, but so is Dimensions and Sanity Obscure... get them all ;)
No, I have a habit of never getting around to checking out bands I don't know.
Speaking of people like that... I finally listened to that Khors album. I liked it, but I was tired and zoning in and out. I'll do an actual post on your review after a more coherent listen.
this sounds cool, never ben a fan of their earlier stuff, but I am going to check this out. Review was very good, very informative, but I would not expect anything less from you anyway Willie.
Cool, if anyone checks this out (or Believer) let me know what you think. I'm glad the review came out alright because it was a pretty quick re-write.

This Message Edited On 03.19.09

Altmer
March 19th 2009


5652 Comments


Heard of this band, not listened yet.

SylentEcho
March 19th 2009


1570 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A great album, I'm glad they're back. They sound pretty much the same, just a little more refined to suit this era.

Willie
Moderator
March 19th 2009


16018 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Really? You think they sound the same. I think there's very little left of their old sound. I listened to Malleus Maleficarum, Testimony of the Ancients, and Spheres back-to-back a few different times to compare (just look at my last.fm play-counts for this band now) and didn't hear much of what I was hearing here.

Anthracks
March 19th 2009


3744 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Not the biggest fan of this, but your summary is kinda... >_>

I do like the production on the album though, and I'm usually not a fan of clean production in DM.

Digging: Perfume Genius - Too Bright

Willie
Moderator
March 19th 2009


16018 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not the biggest fan of this, but your summary is kinda... >_>
I'm pretty good with all the random internet shit, but that one is over my head... in other words: what?

Anthracks
March 19th 2009


3744 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

As in I've never even been too much of a Pestilence fan but they've always been at least 'good'.

Willie
Moderator
March 19th 2009


16018 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

They've been average, but never anything special (IMO)... and Spheres... my god.

Edit: I think you indirectly make a good point though, and I'm going to adjust that summary.

This Message Edited On 03.19.09

BallsToTheWall
March 19th 2009


44472 Comments


Nothing....good... Horse shit man. To each his own though, but testimony blew me the fuck away, like Maryt Poppins magical umbrella.

MisterBeefy
March 19th 2009


244 Comments


I wonder what is inspiring all these bands to return out of the blue with new albums.

Willie
Moderator
March 19th 2009


16018 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

A lot of the band members haven't been out of the music scene, just out of the extreme metal scene. I think they're all getting older and realizing that it was a lot of fun to do and if they want to do it anymore it's pretty much now or never.

Nothing....good... Horse shit man.
Really? You don't like it at all?



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