Friday, 7 February 2014

Pestilence: Obsideo

Pestilence comes in three flavours. The Martin Van Drunen Years, The Progressive Phase and Twenty-First Century Revival. I am an unabashed fan of the piggy in the middle. Testimony of the Ancients is a great album but Spheres was the game changer for me. I have written about it elsewhere on this blog. Go read.

A few weeks before I got Obsideo, I was listening to Spheres in my car. It seems as though every time I listen to that album, I am able to unearth new layers of sonic complexity, subtler rhythmic shifts and splendid, original solos wrapped in the (flawed) technological innovation of the time. Spheres, quite simply is a science-fiction synthesiser soundtrack... played entirely on guitar.

As I listened through Spheres both ways to and from work it occurred to me that underneath the synth rich soundtrack to a sci-fi movie never made was some really simple, precise, well composed and executed straight ahead death metal. And I thought: I wonder what this would have sounded like without Roland's midi guitar synth?

Then Obsideo came out. A combination of Twenty-First Century Revival phase muscular production, the urgent savagery of The Martin Van Drunen Years and the melodic and compositional intelligence of The Progressive Phase. Basically a stripped back, stripped down masterpiece released just in time to be spun and forgotten or simply overlooked.

Do yourself, the band and death metal history a service. Listen to this baby.

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