Sasha Horn’s take:
“Resurrected to rot once more….”
‘Nuff said. “Singer”/Guitarist and all-around Pestilence owner, Patrick Mameli, sums it up best when phlegming out this first line in the title track, and to me that can mean only one thing…. Consuming fucking Impulse. Because nothing rotted quite like that one. Understanding just how decrepit they mean to get in ’09 is half of the battle. The war, however, will be fought with all of the boneheaded brilliance and brawn that served ’89 well. The essence of dead is still here. And alive and well I might add.
Resurrection Macabre is not perfect, but its distance from perfect is open to debate. It all really comes down to which page in their pestilent portfolio you prefer. Mallevs Maleficarvm is a given. That rebel yell was so young, dumb, and full of cum that you can’t deny or resist its reckless charm, but I heard 1991 as a testimony of the patience, and 1993’s Spheres as a geriatric blast of new-age jazz and diet-death; at times a borderline foray into paisley. So what Resurrection does for me is timeless. It brings back the kind of lockjaw, salivate, and stomach-flush that I got when I sprinkled ants on my face in 1989. The next best thing to that particular bite-and-spit of running octaves, roto-toms, and good ol’ graspable time-signatures is right here, right now. So with confidence like a chokehold on modern times, Mameli riffs it up like he has to level the playing field in lieu of the boggling C-187, and he starts new fires and rekindles old flames in order to suss it out, i.e. the enlisted.
Most notably, a new friend is found in Peter Wildoer (drummer; Darkane, Old Man’s Child, etc.), who wraps entrails around these eleven decompositions. Unfortunately, aging patriots have already started whining about Wildoer’s multi-tentacled skills applied here (blast-beats, tom-tomfoolery), but I couldn’t think of a better way to modernize this stab at nostalgia. And speaking of outright stabbing, the three thawed-out and re-cooked fan favorites (“Chemo Therapy”, “Out Of The Body”, and “Lost Souls”) are served up mostly true to form and with a fierce desire to make them known again. Mameli even does the missing Martin Van Drunen (vocalist; ex-Pestilence, Hail Of Bullets,etc.) a solid by doing his best MVD impression in an attempt to keep these classics pure, but only after he makes near-near-classics out of new digs (check opener “Devouring Frenzy”) by sounding famished, and I don’t mean “famished” as in “exhausted”, I mean “famished” as in “starving”, and “starving” as in “swallowing everything”. The result: Worlds collide beautifully, and the collective rounded out by second guitarist and lifer, Peter Uterwijk, and veteran Tony Choy (bassist; ex-Cynic, Atheist, etc.) finally gives some rest to my unrest in thinking that I’d never ever fill the void that a Pestilence-free 1990 left in me, which is to say that this feels so much like what should’ve been the bookend and the new beginning sliced right between Consuming Impulse and Testimony Of The Ancients.
This sentimental whirlwind of an album is truly a kind of closure with its barbaric song-titles and neanderthal subject matter, as in suicide (“Hate Suicide”), dehydration (“Dehydration II”, a variation on the theme of Consuming‘s “Dehydration”), and outright death (“In Sickness And Death), because after all, this is a flat-out death metal album. With a dead heart. And a dead hand. Extending a dead middle finger. So, don’t think. It’s important to keep in mind that you’re not signing on for the storyline, you’re signing up for the action scenes.
Resurrection Macabre is quite often the open coffin.
Kris Yancey’s take:
I’ve been brooding over this album for a long fucking time.
I like Pestilence. I don’t think they’re necessarily awesome, but I do like bits of their discography, especially the oft-maligned Spheres. I’ve never gone out of my way to tell people about their albums, but they were consistently good albums, and you can’t say that about a whole lot of bands these days.
Now I can’t even say that about Pestilence, cause Patrick Mameli seems to have gone and shit himself on Resurrection Macabre.
I don’t want to say it sounds different, because it doesn’t. Pestilence is still Pestilence, but “uninspired” and “lackluster” swamp my speakers with the acrid stench of a stagnated corpse exhumed for the purpose of rotation. After all, one can’t blame Pestilence for jumping on the dead-band-resurrection bandwagon, considering the immediate success of At the Gates and Carcass’ reunion tours, as well as highly praised new output from Cynic. No one can really deny Pestilence that right. That’d be like arranging the biggest, most perverse orgy in the world and telling the guy with the thirteen-inch cock and the recently-benumbed farm animal at his side to go fuck himself.
Still, Resurrection Macabre plays like a middle-ground Unique Leader release, somewhere in the vicinity of Inveracity and Mortal Decay, without the obnoxious blast-your-ass-off drums. Much like a Unique Leader band, the musicianship is pretty incredible on Resurrection Macabre. Tony Choy and Peter Wildoer are great support players; Wildoer is particularly amazing on the kit, throwing as many interesting fills and drum patterns as necessary to keep the relentlessly boring chunk-tech guitar riffs afloat. Mameli just doesn’t have the flow like he did back in the day. At least on Spheres, the spacey, off-beat guitar solos made sense because the album was about time and reality. Resurrection Macabre is about every hackneyed death metal scenario imaginable, with Spheres-light solos thrown in for bizarre measure. It doesn’t help when Mameli’s burping out the song titles with the violent fury of a Drano-gargling dog, surprised at its own indigestion following an under-the-sink binge of disastrous proportions. Oh, and the wall o’ sound production plows through like a brick shithouse tumbling down the countryside.
Speaking of the song titles, some of them are waterhead-ready retarded. “Y2H” (that’s “Year to Hate,” or “Year 2 Hate” for the yearning 90’s pop group fans) and “Hate Suicide” are among the album’s most ridiculous, but all the songs have a sort of Engrish quality about them. I’ve never accused Pestilence of having the greatest lyrics in the world, but it’s been 16 years. Can’t I expect a little more from a band that’s had so much downtime? My needs aren’t great; we’re not talking À la recherche du temps perdu here. And the thematic step back from cosmic energies and time manipulation to “dis guy here, he’s gonna die” doesn’t help their case either.
Maybe that’s my biggest point: for as long as Pestilence has been out of the game, you’d think they’d have planned their homecoming party a little better. As it is, Resurrection Macabre is largely average, and would be duly ignored were it not for the name emblazoned on the cover. Still, the opening “ughs” in “Devouring Frenzy” make it somewhat worthwhile, if only for the wrong reason.