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Pestilence - Doctrine CD (album) cover

DOCTRINE

Pestilence

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

2.73 | 12 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The reformation of legendary Dutch death metal act Pestilence in 2008 was a bit controversial, to say the least. After going out with a "bang!" in the form of 1993's Spheres, the band's two full-length albums since the reformation have been met with generally mixed reception from fans and critics alike. Although 2011's Doctrine seems to be getting panned on most online sources, I'll put myself in the increasingly small minority that considers this to be a damn good effort that's among the year's better technical death metal albums. Doctrine is not flawless, and there are a few noticeable issues that keep this from reaching the heights of Pestilence's classic offerings, but this is still an exceptionally solid album that all fans of the band should cherish for years to come.

Anyone familiar with Pestilence's jazzy and progressive spin on technical death metal should instantly recognize Doctrine as the band's work. Doctrine does have a sleek, modern edge, but at its core this album is technical death metal in the vein of Death or Atheist with an additional jazzy edge. The fretless 7-string bass playing from Jeroen Paul Thesseling especially adds a jazzy touch that reminds me a lot of the bass playing on the legendary Spheres album. The rest of the musicians are also terrific, with Yuma Van Eekelen's fantastic drumming also standing out as something from a technically gifted machine. I've heard plenty of complaints about Patrick Mameli's vocal delivery, which (admittedly) is quite an acquired taste, but I absolutely adore his tortured growling style here. I'd say it's among his finest performances yet - the man simply sounds insane on this album, and quite original as well... I can't say I've heard very many death metal vocalists who sound anywhere near Mameli's unconventional sound on Doctrine! The production is a bit flat and generic in my opinion, but it still is unquestionably of high quality. I just can't say I'm a big fan of the mix, especially the super-crunchy guitar tones. Again, it's an acquired taste, and this one I haven't yet been able to acquire.

Despite the nearly universal slandering I've heard about Doctrine, it's turned out to be quite a pleasant surprise for me, and an album I'd easily recommend to those who enjoy jazz-tinged technical death metal. Pestilence may not have outdone their classic albums from the first half of the 90's, but that's certainly a large task and a nearly-unreasonable expectation. What they've managed to create here is yet another great addition into their catalog in the vein of Spheres - and that's certainly fine by me! Technical death metal fans are advised to get this one, assuming they've already heard a decent chunk of Pestilence's backcatalog. 3.5 stars are fair here.

J-Man | 3/5 |

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