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From 1987 tot 1991 a small Dutch group brought the world much joy and especially great music. As if inspired by the gods of thrash and death themselves, Pestilence unleashed the greatest Dutch death metal album to this day, Consuming Impulse. But just like many artists, should they have stopped right there? No, because no matter what people might think, Testimony of the Ancients did have some brilliant moments as well. Of course the album lacked some productional filthiness and had less impressive (but adequate) lead vocals. But still it was a very good death metal album.
From that point on inspiration was gone. Let me quote: Inspiration refers to an unconscious burst of creativity in a literary, musical, or other artistic endeavour. Literally, the word means "breathed upon," and it has its origins in both Hellenism and Hebraism. In Greek thought, inspiration meant that the poet or artist would go into ecstasy or furor poeticus, the divine frenzy or poetic madness. He or she would be transported beyond his own mind and given the gods' or goddesses own thoughts to embody.
Some angels must’ve pissed on Mameli’s brain for about 4 years and then left him to die because everything after 1991 sounds contrived, uninspired. Spheres was NOT groundbreaking. I was there, it wasn’t new. It was just annoyingly harmless middle of the road death metal. If one listens closely one will hear leftover riffs from the Testimony sessions with the only difference having jazzy leads, funny effects and a flat cardboard production. All easy gimmicks to make it seem Spheres was anything special. Also Mameli had literary started insulting pretty much the entire metal community so his credibility was pretty much gone. But STILL I was hoping they would someday surprise us with a worthy album. Some heroes get more credit than others you know.
I actually liked the comeback album Resurrection Macabre. It had a few great songs and at least it was a death metal album again. I thought it was a good start. An album you’d give 70-80 points because you’re glad they’re back and playing death metal again. They had to get acquainted with the genre again so give’m some time. You know, like people who haven’t driven a car in many years. Practice! Again, some heroes get more credit than others.
So, I was hoping they would now go in for the kill.
Feeling the need to contrive instead of compose again and possibly because Mameli’s heart honestly isn’t into real death metal anymore even though he claims it is, they released an album half filled with Spheres leftovers and a new element: groove metal. I do not know where Mameli has been the last 15 years but in 2011 anyone with love for old school death metal and even jazz metal freaks bloody well hate that genre. It was the death of old school metal in 1993 so in 2011 it is beyond not-done. Maybe the kids (Pestilence listeners who weren’t around the first time) could take a liking to this. But we, the old folks, simply can’t.
There are some great riffs here and there, sure! Since from time time Mameli does come up with some great ideas but then songs as a whole are ruined by meandering chugging parts all over the place.
In the end the only good thing going are Mameli’s vocals which are raspy and pretty much his best ever! Also I really love the album cover. But that about wraps it up. This jazzy groove album with only incindental hints of the old brilliance is the third nail in Pestilence’s coffin. Just one more Patrick, just one more….