PESTILENCE are one of those classic bands that came back with a return in 2009’s “Resurrection Macabre” despite some mixed reviews upon its release due to its new focuses. Unfortunately, their latest follow up “Doctrine” comes off as a significant disappointment particularly when the band has had such a prolific career prior.
The talent contained on “Doctrine” should be enough to perk any Metalhead’s curiosity. PESTILENCE should blow most other Technical Death bands out of the water with their playing and writing chops. Oddly enough, this sixth album seems to dwindle off into unfocused territory with its music. It never seems to quite mesh and meld together into the beastly release it could have been. Band members seem to go off into their own thing, rarely working together to punch out the music that this band has previously been known for.
On the plus side, despite the rather haphazard writing and how everything works together, “Doctrine” contains some great old school meets new school Death Metal performances. The shrieky and raspy vocals work for that old school sound, as do the rather chunky and aggressive riffs. This is partnered with a flurry like drum attack and one of the most ridiculously off kilter bass parts you will ever hear from the more than impressive Jeroen Paul Thesseling and his abilities on the fretless bass.
There is still plenty for fans to enjoy and honestly I wanted to love this album a lot. It’s got a slick production, great performances, and a concept that should blow modern Tech Death out of the water. It just never gets there due to some focus issues and a rather odd way of blending it all together. Recommended for fans of more modern Death Metal only.
(Online November 17, 2011)