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__Ziltoid__, July 11th, 2011

Would you believe me if I said that this ugly cover was the best part of Pestilence’s Doctrine, the follow-up to the utterly disappointing Resurrection Macabre?

By now, you should already know what this review is going to look like. After an overly long, useless intro that does nothing whatsoever to establish any kind of atmosphere, we’re greeted by boring-ass groovy riffs an especially awful attempt at imitating the Martin van Drunen. ‘Amgod?’ This song should be called ‘Amshit,’ because damn is it awful. What really irks me about this song is that it plods around sounding like it has the intentions of being ambitious, but it utterly fails at that on so many levels that it’s insulting.

The title track continues this trend of attempting to be technical, but failing at doing anything remotely interesting. Hell, the main riff this time sounds like it was ripped out of some generi-core song. The breakdown here doesn’t really help matters either. I shit you not, the only reason I even bothered to listen to this album was because it bears the Pestilence name. If I had just heard this sample and not known who it was, I’d have ignored it, and that basically sums up the main problem with this album as a whole. It’s simply not Pestilence.

Groove-stilence continues on ‘Salvation,’ where there is some blatant Meshuggah worshiping going on around the 1:44 mark (so I guess that means that the Metalsucks guys would totally love it, m i rite, lololololol?). ‘Divinity’ evens rips off the bands that already rip off Meshuggah, so we get more of that boring shitty riff that those bands employ. I guess this is the trend with this album–either bad riffs, or bad ripoffs that have nothing to do with the once-great past of Pestilence.

One this I will say is that some of the solos here sound decent, like the one at the end of ‘Absolution,’ but once again, those sound like they’re modified versions of Meshuggah solos, but adapted to this more straightforward groove metal approach. Still, as inoffensive as these solos are, they also don’t stand out at all, and I would never describe them as memorable in any way, shape, or form.

I could go on and talk about how unremarkable every track here is, but that would be doing Doctrine way too much justice, because these songs simply don’t bother to attempt to distinguish themselves apart. Ten indistinguishable songs that all happen to suck are honestly not worth anyone’s time, and simply put, this album should be ignore by anyone with a semblance of taste in death metal. I went into this expecting it to be bad, but holy hell, it exceeded my expectations in the worst possible way. I almost feel like Pestilence and Morbid Angel are competing with each other to see which can have the worst new death metal album by a formerly good band. Atheist took that crown last year, and Pestilence have made a decent run at that title this year, although this isn’t quite as bad as Poopiter. Still, it’s really fucking close.

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