Pessimist - Evolution Unto Evil
Deathgasm Records
Death Metal
12 songs (52:51)
Release year: 2008
Pessimist, Deathgasm Records
Reviewed by Goat

Some may ask why bands bother with a rarities album when the band itself is a rarity, an underground relic that has survived the past fifteen years of existence without making a huge mark on the scene. Yet when that band is Maryland-based Death-with-just-a-bit-of-Thrash-ers Pessimist, the answer becomes a little clearer. In existence since 1993 with just three albums to its name, the band has been slaving away in the underground to little reward; if a rarities release will please the fans, why on earth not? And so we have this, a collection of demos, covers and live-in-the-studio guff unable to be excreted elsewhere, and like most releases of this sort, it’s an uneven yet fairly enjoyable slice of the Pessimist pie.

From the unrecognisable cover of Megadeth’s Killing Is My Business to riff-heavy blasts like Let The Demons Rest, the band is a conduit for Death Metal. And whilst it might not be the best you’ve heard, this is more than decent and far better than average stuff. With little concession to melody, the majority of the music here is early Morbid Angel with a hint of Thrash, some typically Swedish riffs papering over any gaps, and the odd Deicide moment (Cult Of The Initiated, for one) all in all being solid yet unremarkable. You could describe the band like that; perfect for when the big names get to that part of town and need an opening act, but with little to speak of in its own right. Yet this is unfair to Pessimist; there’s more than a few moments during Evolution Unto Evil where the Death Metal purity of the band overtakes any cynicism and you end up banging your head for all you’re worth – the original tracks moreso than the covers, which is a major hint to the band that hopefully they’ll pick up upon.

What is fairly obvious from first listens, however, is how single-minded this release is. Pessimist have the potential and experience in them, fine, now let’s see something really good from them. Otherwise, it’s rather difficult to see who exactly will purchase this. Perhaps one day the band will release a masterpiece and cause a flurry; people revisiting its back catalogue en masse. Until then, this will doubtlessly be listened to by the band’s cult fanbase, a tragedy of many smaller bands that make perfectly respectable music yet aren’t original or famous enough to draw the funding that would grant them premier-league status. Not to knock cult fanbases in general, but they’re hardly lifesblood, and when you have a band like Pessimist that features former Death, Vital Remains, Monstrosity and Angelcorpse members, a little more is needed. Hopefully, this will go some way towards giving the band what they need.

MySpace
Killing Songs :
Mensa Rea (With Evil Intent), Cult Of The Initiated, Tunnel Rats, Dungeonlorde
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