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Pestilence
Doctrine
June 2011
Released: 2011, Mascot Records
Rating: 1.5/5
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz

I’m not sure if Patrick Mameli is purposely trying to destroy the legacy of Pestilence, but for f@#k’s sake, he’s doing a stellar job at it. Okay, so 2009’s reunion album RESURRECTION MACABRE was a good, but not great return to the metal scene, but it was a far cry from the progressive flavored frenzy of the band’s heyday. Now we see the release of DOCTRINE, which could quite possibly end up being 2011’s most epic fail. If you’re a Pestilence fan, think of all the things that you loved about the band – aggressive, pseudo technical riffing, lots of colorful solos, and a penchant from writing dynamic and engaging death metal tunes. Now strip all that away, tune the 8-string guitars down to an unintelligible mush, layer the songs in a repetitive wash of boring chugga-chugga deathcore riffs and voila, DOCTRINE.



Seriously, I can’t for the life of me figure out what the intent was with DOCTRINE, or with Pestilence today in general. Save for a few sparse exceptions, the ten tracks on the album (not counting the intro) are interchangeable and uninteresting. I’d expect this from some wet behind the ears upstarts, not from a band that used to be mentioned alongside Death, Atheist, and Morbid Angel. This is supposed to be the same band that wrote “Out of the Body” and “Twisted Truth”?



The only thing that makes DOCTRINE even remotely palatable is the rhythm section of bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling and new drummer Yuma Van Eekelen. JP’s fretless six-string wizardry spends much of the time buried low in the mix for most of the album, but on certain tracks like “Absolution,” “Sinister,” and “Deception (the best track of the whole album),” you can hear why he’s so highly regarded as a musician even outside the metal world. Matter of fact, they did the same thing to Tony Choy on the last album too. And Van Eekelen’s drum work is relentless and tight, and is unfortunately under-utilized within the context of these tunes.



DOCTRINE is a prime example of why it’s better for some bands just to stay split-up. If this is where Mameli’s musical head is at, so be it, but save this crap for another C-187 project. The Pestilence brand deserves better, but more importantly, Pestilence fans deserve better. Forget DOCTRINE ever happened; don’t let this album sully the memories of how great they used to be.
Track Listing

1. The Predication (Intro)
2. Amgod
3. Doctrine
4. Salvation
5. Dissolve
6. Absolution
7. Sinister
8. Divinity
9. Deception
10. Malignant
11. Confusion

Lineup

Jeroen Paul Thesseling – Bass
Yuma Van Eekelen – Drums
Patrick Uterwijk – Guitars
Patrick Mameli – Vocals, Guitars


Next review: » Pestilence - Doctrine
Previous review: » Pessimist - Slaughtering the Faithful

Pestilence
Doctrine
June 2011
Released: 2011, Mascot Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Demonator

Well, he's done it again, and if you know anything about Patrick Mameli you shouldn't be in the least bit surprised, especially not after a record as soaked in tradition as 2009's RESURRECTION MACABRE. Like TESTIMONY OF THE ANCIENTS did for them in years gone by, Pestilence's comeback record laid down a formidable marker when it came to technical death metal. And like the shocking creative departure that was SPHERES, DOCTRINE veers sharply and unexpectedly to the left.



That being said, even the most conservative Pestilence acolyte shouldn't get their knickers in a bind pre-emptively. For one thing, this effort is still heavy as all get-out; Mameli's guitar tone may be noticeably cleaner than the vintage rumble he sported last time around, but it takes nothing away from the fact that "Amgod" and "Salvation" are two snarling, brutal bastards. It would be unfair too, to put this outing's experimental quirks on a level plane to those exhibited on SPHERES. Certainly, the jazz histrionics for which Mameli is a self-confessed nut, enjoy a far greater prominence than they did last time around. However, you certainly won't catch me complaining when they're responsible for such brilliantly haunting cuts as "Dissolve". Here Jeroen Paul Thesseling deserves special mention too for turning in a performance on his bass guitar that's nothing short of stellar.



If DOCTRINE suffers from any major Achilles heel, it's Patrick's vocals. Having sounded like the more ornery half-brother of Regan McNeil no less than two years ago, either time spent on the road hasn't done him any favours or he intentionally set out to sound like a man with his nuts in a vice. Either way, it won't be remembered as his finest hour. It shouldn't put you off the album, mind you - but it's that bad that it just might.
Track Listing

1. The Predication
2. Amgod
3. Doctrine
4. Salvation
5. Dissolve
6. Absolution
7. Sinister
8. Divinity
9. Deception
10. Malignant
11. Confusion

Lineup

Jeroen Paul Thesseling - Fretless Bass

Yuma Van Eekelen - Drums

Patrick Uterwijk - Guitars

Patrick Mameli - Vocals / Guitars


Next review: » Pestilence - Malleus Maleficarum + Demos
Previous review: » Pessimist - Slaughtering the Faithful





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