Now three albums in since their reformation in 2008, death metal legends Pestilence seem to be back on track after the somewhat disappointing Doctrine from 2011. Obsideo is the title of their latest slab on Candlelight Records, and it returns the band to their pummeling mix of traditional death with plenty of technical precision. Longtime guitarist/vocalist Patrick Mameli is joined here by drummer David Haly (Blood Duster, Psycroptic), guitarist Patrick Uterwijk, and bass player George Maier.
Thankfully, Mameli's vocals are an improvement over what we heard from him on Doctrine, as he's gone back to more of a traditional growl in addition to some agonized wailing, which keeps things closer to the classic Pestilence sound. Lots of churning riffs and blazing, technical solos flying around, especially on bruisers such as "Laniatus", "Displaced", and the killer title track, and while they might not be back to Consuming Impulse or Testimony Of The Ancients type magnificence, this is still modern day Pestilence doing what they do best. Haly is a house of fire on the raging "Distress", and there's no shortage of mind-numbing guitar greatness from Mameli & Uterwijk on the absolutely crushing "Soulrot". As heavy as the album is, it also contains plenty of groove too, as on the boiling, face melting "Saturation", a real addicting tune with some intricate yet alluring rhythms and plenty of churning guitar layers.
My one gripe is that the album is pretty short, as most of these tracks are right about at the 3-minute mark and things breeze along almost all too swiftly, but, there's no denying the power, ferocity, and technical prowess that's going on here. Obsideo might not pack the out and out majesty of recent releases from Gorguts & Carcass, but Pestilence sure have proven once again that they deserve to be mentioned in the same league as the greats of the genre.
8. "Aura Negative"