Pestilence - _Obsideo_
(Candlelight Records, 2013)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (5 out of 10)
Dutch death metal old-timers Pestilence are back with another highly concentrated platter of heaviness. _Obsideo_ is the third album in this proverbial 'second wind' that the band has begun with 2009's _Resurrection Macabre_, and it's the band's seventh full-length release to date. In typical Pestilence tradition, _Obsideo_ doesn't cross the forty minute mark and it comes heavily loaded with lots of powerful riffs and crushing segments that really need a few patient spins to start spreading any of their poison. At the forefront of this assault is the band's longtime front-man Patrick Mameli, with his massive guitar sound and subterranean vocals. These are the preliminary, but alas not long-term, impressions made by this record.

There are a few highlights that pop up while _Obsideo_ takes its very reasonable thirty five minutes, but the vocals weigh it down because they offer no variation whatsoever. This would have been acceptable, heck even enjoyable, had Mameli been the kind of outstanding vocalist that excels at his craft whether you like his voice or not, but he just isn't. His delivery on _Obsideo_ sounds incipient and lacks any kind of variety to keep the listener's attention from wandering off. Another concern that becomes more pressing with each listen is the level of the lead guitar. Somehow, guitar solos sound a little too far back in the mix on "Necromorph", "Soulrot" and "Superconsious". This leaves an awkward scene with unreasonably loud rhythmic patterns and drums while the guitar hides away in the dark.

The title-track begins with a disheartening sound of a gradually failing life support device which gives way to some fine blasting. The pace is unrelenting and the guitar solo actually turns out to be surprisingly catchy despite how short-lived it is. This is the only guitar solo on the album that is shelled out with enough confidence and volume to grab hold of one's attention. The aforementioned "Necromorph" has some very busy, technical drumming going for it, and so does "Transition". A very sudden drop in tempo that ushers in a soaring lead guitar line on "Aura Negative" lightens up an otherwise dull track, while "Laniatus" stays on the same wavelength far too long and "Saturation" is rendered forgettable by its circular repetitions.

_Obsideo_ isn't that long of an album to be labeled dull, but there really isn't much to tell the tracks apart from each other. "Distress", "Transition" and "Obsideo" are the engaging tracks on this record, but coming from a band as old as Pestilence, they don't make for a thrilling album. That is not the sound of a veteran aging very well in its cask. Despite having some high moments, _Obsideo_ just doesn't offer much to keep today's listener at the edge of his proverbial seat.

Contact: http://www.pestilence.nl/

(article published 27/1/2014)


CHATS
7/22/2009 J Smit Pestilence: Never Say Die
ALBUMS
4/15/2009 J Smit 9 Pestilence - Resurrection Macabre
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