Consuming Impulse

Pestilence – Obsideo Review

Pestilence – Obsideo Review

“Nothing burns with the same intensity as hate born of a once great love. While I worshipped early Pestilence albums like Consuming Impulse and Testimony of the Ancients, I hated their Doctrine release with the white-hot passion of a scorned fanboy. The dramatic back story to this epic tale of spurned love is a simple one. Pestilence began life as a primitive, old school death outfit and really had a lot going for them, but they rapidly evolved into a weird, proggy entity, freely dabbling in jazz-fusion. I didn’t care for the paradigm shift and neither did many of their original fans. When the band reformed after 16 years in the ground, I hoped they would return to their roots…” Who doesn’t dig a good story about love turned to hate? But can that hate turn back to love? How about love peppered with hate?

Decaying – Encirclement Review

Decaying – Encirclement Review

Are you ready for 2012? You better be, since it’s supposedly when the Mayans sell us down the river and everything goes BOOM! That means locusts, plagues, zombies, more Obama and a new Justin Bieber double album. Oh, the humanity! Anyway, as Steel Druhm sits in his Fortress of Reckoning, stockpiling ammo and firearms with varying degrees of legality, it seems a good time to do the first review of a 2012 release! What could be more fitting than a nasty slice of war-themed death metal from frigid Finland? Decaying got some big Steel love earlier this year for their Devastate album and here they are all set to launch their second campaign in 2012 with Encirclement. Taking the same basic approach as on Devastate, they rock a type of primitive, old school death of the European variety. After several spins, Encirclement reminds me of a forced merger between Bolt Thrower and Hail of Bullets with some Consuming Impulse-era Pestilence sprinkled on the wound. In all honestly, most of the album sounds like vintage Bolt Thrower with Martin van Drunen (Hail of Bullets/Asphyx/ex-Pestilence/ex-Bolt Thrower) on the mic. As you might then expect, its dependably chunky, clunky, ugly and reeks of a battlefield. What makes this notable amid the legions of death is the sheer length of the tracks. As with Devastate, there are some LONG ass death metal songs here (several between eight and ten minutes)! That can be a tricky feat to pull off and while Decaying largely succeeds in maintaining the interest factor, it can be wearing on the attention span at times. If the impending apocalypse make you hunger for epic-length death metal all about war, this is your huckleberry.

Pestilence – Doctrine Review

Pestilence – Doctrine Review

They say you can’t go home again. If the recent track record of Dutch deathsters Pestilence proves anything, it’s that you may get home again, but you can’t stay there long. Pestilence had a few significant contributions to the death genre in the late 80’s and early 90’s, most notably the excellent Consuming Impulse from ’89 (a nasty, vicious slab of ugliness and a top ten all time death album IMHO) and the very solid Testimony of the Ancient release in ’91. Then they radically shifted styles by incorporating copious progressive jazz fusion elements into the Spheres opus and alienated many fans in the process. That essentially closed the book on Pestilence until their 2009 reunion album Resurrection Macabre, which did indeed go home to their early death metal roots and kicked a fair amount of arse too. Now, we get their second post-reformation platter and much to my chagrin, back comes the progressive jazz-fusion elements to muddy the waters (though not to the extent they did on Spheres). This leaves Doctrine a squirming, writhing mutant offspring, half Consuming Impulse, half Spheres and it feels like an album tearing itself apart with inconsistent, incompatible ideas. Needless to say, I’m not very jazzed about this.