First we had Atheist's reunion three or so years ago, then Cynic, and now Pestilence mark their return to the scene with new studio offering 'Resurrection Macabre'. Present in the band's new lineup is the seemingly ubiquitous bassist Tony Choy (providing a link between all three said bands, albeit he only had brief stints in Cynic and Pestilence), and also talented Darkane drummer Peter Wildoer. In fact, the only original member on this album is guitarist/vocalist Patrick Mameli, although it has been said that axeman Patrick Uterwijk (who joined in 1989 subsequent to Randy Meinhard's departure) will be playing live shows with the band. So then, missing in action since 1994, this is perhaps only a 'reunion' in the loosest sense of the word (and Mameli was vocal to this end on Blabbermouth - "it's not a reunion, because I will not be playing with any of the old lineup guys..."), although with so much talent in Pestilence's current formation and the fact that Mameli was originally the main driving force, at least compositionally, behind the band, I am suitably intrigued by the extreme metal scene's latest 'resurrection', reunion or not. Fortunately 'Resurrection Macabre' is both a relevant and welcome release which, stylistically, lies somewhere between the all-out death aggression of 'Consuming Impulse' and the technical, jazz-edged essence of 'Spheres', although progressing into a more contemporarily heavy sound and greater maturity in songwriting. Pestilence fans of yore will find as much to get excited about here as those who will be discovering the band with no preconceptions, for 'Resurrection Macabre' is a fine example of 21st century death metal - solidly produced, incisively brutal, and technically engaging. Also included are three bonus tracks - re-workings/recordings of songs from the first two Pestilence albums and, although benefitting from a more modern sounding production, I guess it will be an ongoing debate amongst the purists as to what the value is re-treading old ground in such a way. At least they serve as a contraposition to the eleven new cuts in terms of how much Mameli has developed as a songwriter over the years. Let's hope this revived version of Pestilence is not an ephemeral exercise in nostalgia as I predict they have even greater musical innovations to offer the world of extreme music.
Review by Mark Holmes
16th March 2009
1) Devouring Frenzy
2) Horror Detox
4) Hate Suicide
5) Synthetic Grotesque
6) Neuro Dissonance
7) Dehydrated II
8) Resurrection Macabre; 9) Hangman
10) Y2H; 11) In Sickness and Death
12) Chemo Therapy (Bonus Track)
13) Out of the Body (Bonus Track)
14) Lost Souls (Bonus Track)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"'...stylistically...somewhere between the all-out death aggression of 'Consuming Impulse' and the technical, jazz-edged essence of 'Spheres', although progressing into a more contemporarily heavy sound and greater maturity in songwriting."