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It seems this album is being quite poorly received which is a crying shame. I'll get a quick forewarning out of the way, if you have an aversion to anything modern, jazz-influenced, or Meshuggah you don't need to hear this. If you expect a return to Consuming Impulse you can also give this a firm miss.
With that out of the way, 2011 sees the release of Pestilence's sixth full-length, Doctrine. The band have added 8-strings to their technically sautéed death metal. The jazz fusion influence heard on Spheres has returned, and with the inclusion of 8-string guitars the band have found a dirty, mechanical sound drenched with a fat low end. Mameli has channeled his inner Van Drunen and sounds like a raging mad man, just take a look at that bile-curdling scream at the start of "Amgod" – Mameli sounds fucking insane. Jeroen Paul Thesseling who has recently been wowing people in technical death metallers Obscura has returned to the fold to lend his 6-string bass talents on Doctrine, which are much appreciated by this reviewer's ears.
The album is quality, but on repeated listens a lot of songs blur into one especially between tracks 4 and 9 although "Absolution" breaks up the monotony with some face-smashing riffs. There are two tracks that standout as particularly great though, the first being "Deception" which boasts a badass riff which makes up the main theme of the track, spiced up with guitar leads and cheeky bass accents which are damn cool. "Confusion" has to be the absolute best track this band have done since getting back together, this one has the most in touch with the sounds of Death, Atheist, etc.
Overall this album is solid and it shows the band are not content to sit around, imagine a mix between Spheres and mid-period Meshuggah and you wouldn't be too far from the sounds on Doctrine. I'll be curious to see how the band progress from here, and while this can't touch the standards of their work before reforming, I'd say this smokes Resurrection Macabre. A good, interesting effort that certainly leaves a better taste in my mouth than the latest Atheist album.
Originally written for www.metalcrypt.com