Some bands come back from the dead just for the sake of it. Maybe it’s boredom, maybe it’s the thought of cashing in on all the “retro” going on in the metal world today. Whatever it is, those bands come off as uninspired and, worse, a shell of their former glories. Dutch greats Pestilence are definitely not one of those bands and their newest release, Obsideo, will further cement their legacy as true death metal legends.
For the uninitiated, Pestilence started as a thrash band but by their second album, 1989’s Consuming Impulse, had begun to morph into one of Europe’s finest death metal exports. Never content to put the same album out twice, Pestilence spent the next two albums taking death metal to the brink by adding all sorts of elements found more commonly on John Coltrane records as opposed to anything the metal community was sinking their collective teeth into. All four albums prior to their 1994 split are classics and confirmed Pestilence as one of the most underrated metal bands on the planet. One reunion and now three albums later this band continues to make music with jaw-dropping technical prowess and fist-to-the-skull brutality.
But as much as the last two records can be commended, their third post-reunion album, Obsideo, is hands down the best of the lot. One of the most unheralded guitar duos in metal history are Patrick Mameli and Patrick Uterwijk. Team Patrick has been together off and on since 1988 and the type of innate knowledge you gain of a band member’s tendencies is on full display here. The two of them play off each other in ways most guitar duos could only imagine. Mameli rides his guitar like an eight-legged stallion through battle, annihilating everything in his path. Riding shotgun is Uterwijk, not to be outdone by his band mate, as he takes turns leading the charge. The riffs on this album are intense and, if you could bottle them up, as close to concentrated heaviness as you’ll find. They are a well oiled machine backed by a rhythm section that knows perfectly how to set the pace. Add to the mix Mameli’s best post-reunion vocal performance and Obsideo shapes up to be one of the better death metal records you’ll hear this year.
Obsideo is Pestilence’s debut album for the mighty Candlelight Records and hits the streets on November 11. You can get a taste over at MetalSucks with the track “Aura Negative”.