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Middle finger for orthodox metalheads - 100%

steelin, May 3rd, 2009

As a jazz-death freak I consider 1993 as the most important year in a brief history of death metal. That's when such records as Individual Thought Patterns, Focus or Elements came out. They were milestones without any discussion, but my favourite album from then is Pestilence's Spheres. ITP was very catchy and had extraordinary bass lines. Elements was a very brave record, it hadn't any double-bass parts. Can you imagine that in death metal? Tony Choy also shown the best of his capabilities (Samba Briza!). Focus was fantastic. Vocoder, synthesisers, Sean Malone, extreme solos. Why Pestilence then?

Songs are well written. Lyrics are decent. Riffs are catchy, very fine. Drums play ok. Bass is great, I love it. I also love Mameli's vocals - deep and suggestive. It doesn't have any weak spots. You say sound is bad? Maybe. But that's what makes this record special!

Patrick Mameli used most of the best ideas present on above recordings: synths, distinct bass, jazzy solos, etc. Then he squared them and turned inside-out. When Cynic looked for more atmosphere and space, Pestilence overwhelmed the listener with mid-range oriented guitars and loud bass. When Chuck made some speedy, difficult riffs on ITP, Mameli based his on three, four chords so they are theoretically simple as For Whom The Bell Tolls, but still lots of progressive elements, rhythm and tempo changes, some technical jazzy solos, complex melody structures make it a hell of a difficult music which require specifical feeling from a musician. Grunt vocals sound like from behind the wall. Synths are sick, they aren't trying to make a melody but to make the listener feel disturbed. Remember Nocturnus and Louis Panzer's vibrating synths during a riff in "Lake of Fire"? That's what I mean.

Overall - Spheres are violent. But it isn't a physical kind of violence. It's about feelings. You experience something special, but it makes you feel uneasy, trapped: claustrophobic in a space pod lost in core of galaxy? Or making love with the hottest chick in the city knowing that her boyfriend will cut your balls off for it. ;) I can't find anything accurate to describe it. You just have to listen and feel for yourself.

Oh, you may not like it of course, but you'll be moved - that's for sure.