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Fuck no - 42%

6CORPSE6GRINDER6, October 5th, 2012

Pestilence’s career has been marked by evolution; their debut album –“Mallevs Malleficarvm”- even if it’s very thrashy is a hell of a nice slab of incipient death metal. “Consuming Impulse” condensed the raw, evil and dark atmosphere coining an even heavier album, and so on. “Testimony of the Ancients” might be one of the best death metal albums ever recorded, its technical prowess is undeniable, Tony Choy’s addition to the band opened a whole new level in complexity to the band’s musical textures. “Spheres” was even more experimental, drifting away too much from the death metal shores if you ask me, but at least is an honest effort towards the making of more sophisticated music. The “new” albums, even if they aren’t as experimental as the last have something new, the use of 8 string guitars. It affects dramatically the band’s sound, giving it a darker and more nostalgic edge, that affects modern day Pestilence’s live performances making them richer, because of the adaptation of old songs to new tuning.

This album however, despite being released in 2006, covers up one show from 1989, one from 1988 and one unreleased track. The first show sounds like shit, Van Drunen vocals are almost unrecognizable, yet they are along with the drums the most distinguishable elements in this stupid wall of noise. Guitars sound so muddy they are buried in themselves, because there is no bass guitar or another instrument to outshine them, they plainly suck. Bass is non-existent, as in Van Drunen-era albums. Songs themselves are extremely good, and the performance itself is not that bad, but still it has its flaws… at some times music sound like pulled by an ox instead of a fucking bulldozer, as it should. This, along with the horrible recording quality makes the record very difficult to get through entirely, its tired for your brain to be constantly trying to make sense out of the noise, rather than just enjoying the show. 88’s concert is even worse, sounds like a bloody rehearsal more than a lame recorded show. The set list is pretty much the same, to me this show’s inclusion was unnecessary. The last track isn’t a live recording, but it sounds painful too. Guitars have some weird noise over them, like a layer of white noise (?) at least you can hear the riffs more clearly, it’s a nice song. I don’t know why it didn’t make it to the album it was written to.

In conclusion, this doesn’t make justice to a Pestilence live performance (I saw them live this year and they kick ass) and I’m pretty sure they kicked ass back then too, but the quality of the recording is too damn low. I can’t understand how a band with such a long path trodden can release a live album this bad.