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Don't enter these spheres - 33%

Felix 1666, March 22nd, 2014

Imagine being a metal musician who doesn´t want to play metal anymore. It´s so boring, it´s so aggressive. You complain about a lack of musicality while becoming more and more convinced that your death/thrash metal records so far have been just an error, inexplicable and regrettable. So herein lies the problem. On the one hand you have fans, but a style you love to hate. On the other hand you have a style you want to play, but no fans. Bad luck, boy!

This was exactly the situation of Patrick Mameli in 1992 / 1993. Sometime after the release of the already mechanized but strong "Testimony of the Ancients" he decided to stop the evolution of Pestilence´s successful style while starting an useless revolution as a substitute. Unfortunately, he was not able to compose coherent songs that could satisfy his high requirement. The running time of this so called full-length appears to be a first indication of his lack of ideas. Subtract the three pointless less-than-two-minutes-instrumentals and what remains at the end? Eight miserable songs in even more miserable 29 minutes. At the very first glance onto this album, it did not look like a new beginning but like a declaration of creative bankruptcy.

"Spheres" kicks off with an inharmonic riff followed by a synth, a spherical synth of course. "Mind Reflection" could had open the album in a solid way, but the breaks are completely unsuitable. Mameli´s voice contrasts with the instrumental confusion, because he strikes only one note during the whole record. Maybe the Dutch crew wanted to record some disturbing tracks, but was it really meant this nasty way?

The longer the album lasts, the worse it gets. Perhaps "Personal Energy" was their attempt to perform a kind of "space ballad". It gets lost in an unknown ugly galaxy, far away from the bright shining metal universum. Freed from the expectations of stupid metalheads, it flows dreamily into nothingness. I would wish it had not come back. In addition, I am unable to appreciate jazz-related solos or musicians that seem to be removed from the real world. "Waste of Time", sorry, I must correct myself, "Demise of Time" pictures the last attack on my taste. It squeaks, it beeps, it doesn´t make sense at all.

He who hates himself might seek for positive elements on this record and to be fair, he will find just a few. But this happens really rarely and Pestilence knew very well how to wipe out every good idea immediately. In conclusion, for the band, "Spheres" might have been an act of self-realization. For fans like me, who felt fine while linking the band with death and thrash of the better kind, this output was just an act of betrayal and the following occasionally split of Pestilence was no reason for sorrow.