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Slaughtering the Faithful
Released: 2002, Lost Disciple Records
Reviewer: Michael De Los Muertos
Pessimist is brought to us by Erik Rutan, famous of course for his association with Morbid Angel, and that fact alone is a pretty good indication of what to expect from this band. It’s full-speed ahead, wet, sludgy death metal. While SLAUGHTERING THE FAITHFUL is not particularly bad, it’s not particularly good either.
I like Morbid Angel, I like their sound and I like their style. Why, then, did I not really like this album? From the first song--“Baptized in Blasphemy”--the album lets loose with a brutal barrage of churning washing machine riffs, Cookie Monster vocals and thunderous drumming. That pace continues completely unabated through the remaining eight tracks. I just got done praising another “br00tal” death metal release (from The Forsaken), so why didn’t SLAUGHTERING THE FAITHFUL do anything for me? I really can’t answer that. Probably some of it has to do with the fact that it’s so consistent, you can drop the needle anywhere on this disc and hear basically the same thing. There isn’t a lot of variation between the songs here even by death metal standards. In a review I usually try to pick out a standout track or two. I can’t do that with this one. They’re just all homogenous.
This band is technically excellent. The guitars are as thick, meaty and angry as you could ever want on an album like this. If there was an academy for teaching death metal vocalists how to sound exactly like the growls on Morbid Angel’s early releases, Pessimist’s guy would have graduated at the top of his class. The production (by Mr. Rutan) is deep, crisp and flawless. It’s been a while since I heard a death metal band as technically proficient as Pessimist. Thus, that makes it even more frustrating that SLAUGHTERING THE FAITHFUL really didn’t grab me the way it should have.
It would be easy to say at this point, “This album is mediocre, but Morbid Angel fans should love it.” I am a Morbid Angel fan and I didn’t love it. So, go figure!
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