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half baked ideas and a million half formed riffs - 40%

joethecabdriver, June 8th, 2011

Pestilence, one of the great death metal bands of the early 90's, return with the second album of their comeback, a different sounding beast all together, but still disappointing.

The album is a collection of rough shards and angles; of half baked ideas and a million half formed riffs; a change of direction from their comeback album, with it's straight forward brutality. Nothing really sticks to the wall with this album; the attack is as ferocious as ever, and the fretless bass, though outstanding, belies the jazz intentions. Their earlier 90's album, Spheres, was a straight up attempt at jazz metal, with mixed results, and though lacking Sphere's quiter parts, is no less a mixed bag, and perhaps even more of a failure. Spheres was an example of failing as none dare fail, where Doctrine just fades into unmemorable sterility. And most memorably, where the music shift's into staccato Mushugga-like heaviness, it is mostly derivative and predictable, almost deathcore-like (though not quite as annoying). Problematic is Patrick Manelli's change of vocal tone, the deep growl of the previous album as turned into a hoarse croak. The production is also a problem; too much treble, and clanky in the worst way.

Add a few quiet whispers here and there, and you have a fairly annoying album. You are advised to check out this bands early material. Consuming Impulse is a pure death metal classic. Malleus Maleficarum is ultra sick thrash. Even their previous album, Resurrection, is palatable compared to this tripe.