Pestilence - Resurrection Macabre
Mascot Records
Death Metal
11 songs (40:31)
Release year: 2009
Pestilence, Mascot Records
Reviewed by Goat
Major event

Few reacted well to the last musical project of Patrick Mameli, the much-derided C-187, and the more cynical elements of the underground Metal scene have been shouting ‘sellout’ since the Dutchman reformed Death Metal legends Pestilence last year. Let’s be clear about one thing; Pestilence are legends, every album that they released from 1988’s Malleus Maleficarum to the experimental slice of controversy that is 1993’s Spheres is a Death Metal classic, and Mameli will have to do a whole lot more than all the various silly things that he’s done in order for me to lose complete respect for him.

Right. Now, having said that, Resurrection Macabre is an insult to the Pestilence name. Compared to Consuming Impulse or Testimony Of The Ancients, the albums that it’s supposedly a throwback to, it’s simply dreadful and enough to make any fan of the band retch in disgust. The trick is to forget that you’re listening to Pestilence, frankly, and to give the album time. Alas, if you go into Resurrection Macabre expecting classic album number five, you will be disappointed – Devouring Frenzy opens with a couple of grunts from Mameli and a torrent of Death Metal that’s somewhere between recent Aborted and a more mosh-happy Cannibal Corpse. Yeah, ladies and gentlemen, Mameli is Playing It Safe, and in this situation ‘safe’ means releasing a modern album that’ll go down a storm live – why else does he start most songs by repeating the title a couple of times? The guitar riffs, seemingly stolen from the Big Death Metal Book O’Riffs That You’ve Heard Before, are repeated just a few too many times, and the songs as a whole are easy to digest, if hard to remember.

The good points? Well, the production is big and bold, the guitars being thick and punishing to the point of nearly overwhelming Tony Choy’s bass, and Mameli’s growl is little short of awesome, somewhere between Corpsegrinder and John Tardy. Drummer Peter Wildoer of Darkane does a terrific job, more technical than the guitar playing and twice as much fun to listen to. It’s also worth noting that the album gets slightly better in the second half; from Synthetic Grotesque onwards there’s a notable turn towards Tech-Death territory that will cheer you up considerably, the songs getting more complex. The more you listen to Resurrection Macabre, Pestilence fans, the more you’ll come to like it – it is an unashamedly enjoyable release after all, and whilst the catchiness may seem shallow if you’re used to old-school Pestilence, the catchiness itself is undeniable. And let’s be fair to Mameli, the solos are untouchable, and the band is still far from the Deathcore I immediately and pessimistically predicted before listening.

A lot of people will like this album; I can even see fellow Metal Reviewers giving it high scores for its catchiness and accessibility, for taking relatively Brutal Death Metal and making it catchy and... well, fun. I’m speaking to those who have been listening to Death Metal for a while, however; those that hold the old Pestilence albums in high esteem, that don’t care about ‘fun’ in Death Metal albums, those that are weary of reformations from the classic Death Metal days and who are now looking with a very cynical eye towards Atheist to see what they’ll be stewing up for their forthcoming album... guys, the Pestilence that was is gone. That’s it. If you must get Resurrection Macabre, then go for the special edition for the re-recorded old songs Chemo Therapy, Out Of The Body and Lost Souls, all of which frankly kick serious amounts of ass. Many will call this review too harsh, but the fact remains that Pestilence are doing nothing here that hasn’t been done better elsewhere many, many times over. Ultimately, they’ve gone from being at the forefront of Death Metal’s evolution to the rear, and that’s not something I choose to celebrate.

MySpace
Killing Songs :
Synthetic Grotesque, Resurrection Macabre, and the re-recorded songs
Goat quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Pestilence that we have reviewed:
Pestilence - Obsideo reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
Pestilence - Doctrine reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
Pestilence - Malleus Maleficarum reviewed by Goat and quoted CLASSIC
Pestilence - Spheres reviewed by Goat and quoted CLASSIC
Pestilence - Testimony Of The Ancients reviewed by Jack and quoted CLASSIC
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