on 18 October 2002
Another overlooked band from the late 80's, Pestilence contained many great death metal musicians, and were fine purveyours of technical death, at a time when not many people were interested. This is the second album, after 'Malleus Malefecarum', and the first on Roadrunner (Roadracer was a special Death Metal imprint from Roadrunner - lots of good bands were on it back in the day, Sepultura, Obituary, Suffocation....)
They were one of the first bands, along with people like Death, Nocturnus, Suffocation, and Cynic, to incorporate more technical playing, and arrangements into their style. Their most radical changes would come later, with 'Testimony Of The Ancients' being a song-interlude-song based album, which I haven't seen the like of ever since, and 'Spheres' was almost a jazz-death metal fusion.
As you would expect from death metal, there are nice low-end guitars, pounding drums, and incomprehensible vocals. Add to this decent bass work (something rarely done in the early 90's), and some interesting new arrangements, that mainly concentrate on building up in stages, before the all-consuming crush. I think that's what they were trying to aim with on this album, and it comes out best in songs like 'Out Of The Body', where there is a great under-use of the double-bass drums, which creates the feeling of being consumed slowly.
They also have the trademark thrash speed that characterised many a great death metal band from the late 80's to the early 90's (like Possessed, or Sepultura), and include some nicely worked solo's.
Another of the essential albums to buy if you want to know what death metal used to be...
on 23 January 2015
this is a fine death metal album, heavy, catchy enough with fine vocals. Only a few tracks really stand out though and the band would do better although some would say this is the bands finest hour, i dont think it is.