Sunday, December 24, 2017

Pestilence - "Hadeon"

Bassist / vocalist Patrick Mameli is carrying the torch for this band that dates all the way back to 1986. Even with all of the new blood this takes you back to the early days of death metal when it met at the intersection of thrash. The riffs wind around themselves, the snarl of the vocals is the only thing that keeps this anchored in death metal on a song like "Manifestations". Mameli obviously takes most of the song writing credit here as the tightly palm muted guitar takes you back to the golden years of bands like Bolt Thrower and Sepultura. The bulk of the technical death metal bands pretty much owe the bulk of their careers to these guys who were doing this kind of thing before Death went into this direction. The experience is certainly felt in the song writing which balances keeping the uncompromising  aggression with catchy riffs .

Four songs in and I am pretty fucking impressed. I mean if you have been doing this shit since 1986, then you should be skilled, I think the catch is being able to keep the flame going for this kind of metal. Another way the old school metal breeding of this project wins out is the fact that the songs are all under five minutes. They manage to cover a ton of ground in this time frame even including weird angular robotic interludes on "Astral Projection". The atmosphere added to the songs keeps things interesting, they prove they can shred as needed. "Dis-incarnate Entity" goes into a riff with an almost Morbid Angel like groove. Keeping with the 80's there is a great thrash like bass tone that brings bands like Anthrax and Overkill to mind in the way the pick attacks the strings. The riffs are taunt and in the pocket to make it hard not to head bang to. This is where they get it right and modern tech-death fails.

"Ultra-Demons" is pretty straight forward and aggressive with the production on the vocals making the difference. The robotic effects return. The guitar solos have enough flash and class to make them work and the more proggy time changes work and don't lose the momentum. They don't lose me when the pace picks up which is where many bands fall off. I think they have written songs that hooked me in more than "Layers of Reality". They use a similar rushed speed on "Electro Magnetic" that employs sparse blast beats as accents. Overall this album won me over and if this is any indication 2018 might be a good year for death metal I'll round this up to a 9. This album comes out March 5th.

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