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Pestilence - Resurrection Macabre  CD (album) cover

RESURRECTION MACABRE

Pestilence

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

1.95 | 23 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Resurrection Macabre" is the 5th full-length studio album by Dutch death metal act Pestilence. The album was released through Mascot Records in March 2009. Itīs been 16 years since the release of "Spheres (1993)" which is the predecessor to "Resurrection Macabre" and a lot of water has run under the bridge in those years. The only remaining original member in the lineup is lead vocalist/guitarist Patrick Mameli while bassist Tony Choy (Cynic, Atheist, C-187) who also played on "Testimony of the Ancients (1991)" (and on the subsequent tour for that album) returns for another stint with Pestilence. Peter Wildoer ( Darkane, Arc Enemy, Agretator, Armageddon, Majestic, Silver Seraph, Time Requiem, Electrocution 250, Non-Human Level, Rusty Flores, Grimmark) is new on the drums in this three-piece version of Pestilence.

Pestilence went out with a bang with "Spheres (1993)" in my opinion and that album is still widely considered a seminal progressive death metal album from the nineties. Therefore it was natural to assume that they would continue where they left off. As it turns out that assumption couldnīt be more wrong. You have to remember that "Spheres (1993)" is an album thatīs become known as a seminal progressive death metal release in retrospect, because upon release it was a commercial failure for Pestilence and it alienated quite a few of the bandīs fans. With "Resurrection Macabre" itīs obvious that Pestilence were determined to win back some of those estranged fans.

The music style on "Resurrection Macabre" is rooted in old school death metal (with some technical twists and dissonant notes). I count only a few jazz influenced guitar solos as progressive on this album. The rest sound more like Pestilence sounded on "Consuming Impulse (1989)" just not quite as inspired or fresh as that album sounded back then. Patrick Mameli especially sounds a bit tired here and his vocals are over-processed. I would have prefered a reunion with original vocalist Martin Van Drunen who Iīm sure could have breathed some life into some of the tracks on "Resurrection Macabre". While thereīs nothing wrong with the musicianship or the Jacob Hansen production "Resurrection Macabre" becomes monotone and a bit tedious after a while. The tracks generally donīt stick out much and few feature memorable hooks. When that is said "Resurrection Macabre" is still a couple of notches more interesting than the most standard death metal albums out there and Pestilence do receive the praise that they have a signature sound, which is a rarity in death metal.

On the limited edition of the album there are re-recorded versions of "Chemo Therapy", "Out of the Body" and "Lost Souls" where former guitarist Patrick Uterwijk guest on lead guitar. The re-recorded versions are decent but I prefer the originals.

To my ears "Resurrection Macabre" is not the expected triumphant return of one of the most important progressive death metal bands from the nineties. Itīs not that I canīt appreciate good old school death metal but "Resurrection Macabre" simply canīt compete with the best contemporary acts in that genre or their own early output for that matter. Itīs just above average at best. A 2.5 - 3 star (55%) rating is warranted. Iīll take out my old Pestilence vinyl copies of "Consuming Impulse (1989)" and "Testimony of the Ancients (1991)" any day before listening to "Resurrection Macabre" and thatīs never a good sign.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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