Twenty years ago, Pestilence’s fourth album Spheres was widely denounced for undermining death metal’s core sonic principles by daring to saunter into jazz-influenced progressive territory. Spheres’ brilliance has been acknowledged since, but for those still angrily chewing their legs off at the thought of cherished boundaries being smashed, the band’s post-reunion output has seen Patrick Mameli sticking to his roots via some wonderfully focused extremity.
Exploratory Dutch deathsters bring in some countweights
Obsideo is easily the strongest of the reunited band’s three albums to date. The guitarist’s subtly peculiar songwriting style still nudges against DM’s heavily guarded perimeter fence but the core of songs like Soulrot, Distress and Superconscious is pure early 90s blast’n’groove belligerence.
The Dutchmen’s intelligent lyrical approach remains intact too, as Obsideo explores the journey of our mortal souls via metaphysical musing that will have today’s party mosh contingent scratching their heads, while delighting those who like brains with their brawn.