Monday, 20 January 2014

Pestilence - Obsideo (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 11/11/2013
Label : Candlelight Records

Obsideo, album track listing:

1). Obsideo
2). Displaced
3). Aura Negative
4). Necro Morph
5). Laniatus
6). Distress
7). Soulrot
8). Saturation
9). Transition
10). Super Conscious

The Band :

Mameli | Guitars, Vocals
Uterwijk | Guitars
Haley | Drums
Maier | Bass

Review :

Pestilences, Dutch death metal legends, return once more.  This is their third album since reforming. Truthfully, I lost track of the band after “Testimony Of the Ancients” twenty years ago- so I approach this review with no knowledge of their interim work. I always thought of Pestilence as towards the more technical end of the death metal spectrum; more Death than, say, Cannibal Corpse. This release confirms to me that this is where the band is still at. There are riffs exploding everywhere- jarring solos, impressive production, blast beats, lots of cymbals etc.

The title track sets the stall out- blast beats, twisting riffs and so on. “Displaced” features some keyboard textures and excellent soloing over off changes- you would not really mistake this for Florida death metal, or a Scandinavian variant either. This is Euro- death, plain and not so simple. Patrick Mameli has plainly still very much got it and offers up an astonishing number of riffs and changes. “Aura Negative” will confirm your suspicions; the album is not an easy listen. It is tech-y, even progressive in places, but it is not long winded. The tracks are almost uniformly between three and four minutes long. The fact that the record is as complex as it is speaks volumes about Mameli and his cohorts' dedication to riffage and supplying a vibe perhaps akin to “Human” by Death- economical but progressive in content.

“NecroMorph” has some very unusual rhythms and changes- fast drums/slow riffs being a useful trick. The solo is again superb and winds its way around two riffs and three time changes. “Laniatus” marks the album's half way point and features some truly chugging sections that will get your head nodding before a serpentine feel takes over. “Distress” continues the mid paced feel and delivers some truly crushing riffs (and even grooves!).  “Soulrot” blasts away effectively with crystal clear production and slower sections. “Saturation” follows- again the track is consistent with the album as a whole- unpredictable and concise. “Transition” offers discordant riffs and weird time feel before adding keyboard textures and an impressive solo section.

“Superconscious” closes the album with a tour de force of blasts, grinding riffs and signature changes throughout. Ultimately, the album is an abject lesson in how to do more with more in less time- concise tracks abound with many, many riffs and it makes for an entertaining and unpredictable listen. If you haven't checked out Pestilence since they returned, you could start here.

Words by : Richard Maw

You can buy it here

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