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Pestilence - Spheres CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.18 | 125 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars A revolutionary spin on progressive death metal.

PESTILENCE were an extreme metal band that drew much acclaim for their uncompromising approach to death metal but it wasn't until the release of their 1993 magnum opus 'Spheres' that they truly cemented a position in the extreme metal hall of fame with a technical jazz influenced approach incorporating a heavy use of synthesizers they transcended the boundaries of the genre and created something completely new.

For me the greatest indication of the musical integrity of this album comes from the guitar solos, you wont hear any shredding here, they are all well thought out, well paced, well phrased pieces of music which is a treat for an extreme metal band and the riffs even carry some of the same consideration. The synthesizers as I mentioned before contribute a great deal to the album as they offer up the most melodic elements and provide a medium for the complex jazz chords that otherwise wouldn't be possible and there is even a completely synth driven song on the album in 'Aurian eyes' which is a string based mystical journey. When all is said and down though this is death metal, the chunky riffing guitar tone, the double kick, the heavy pounding bass, the growls (which aren't that deep or abrasive for death metal actually) we are never under any illusion that this isn't death metal - but it's death metal with something more.

There is a good variety in the music and as such there are numerous strong tracks and great highlights, the opening track 'Mind reflections' is probably the heaviest track on the album with deep chugging and slightly atonal riffing and brutal double kick but even here the melodic synth components are very prevalent, especially in the relatively quiet breakdown sections. The next song 'Multiple beings' is another gerat song, I find it surprisngly emotional in the chorus part despite the double kick and growling. 'Personal Energy' is the most fusion song on the album, it's a lot softer than the other songs melodically and instrumentally (with no double kick and a lot of clean guitar) and possibly offers an insight into the direction the band might have taken, there are a lot of extreme metal elements here but the amalgamation achieved with the clean and melodic elements almost makes them an afterthought. The title track 'Spheres' is another great song, I especially like the solo section, it almost feels like it has a latin american groove underneath and it's one of the most melodic well composed solos on the album. Closing song 'Demise of time' is my favourite song on the album, the complex synth chord progression in the chorus is a triumphant high point on the album and is a perfect way to close out the album, the synth sounds the best in this song, it sits perfectly alongside the other instruments and contributes just as much as any of them.

Overall Spheres is an extraordinary album so much (so that the band couldn't agree on which way to take their music next so they decided to disband). It offers so many new things to the extreme metal genre, this is an absolute must have for fans of technical and jazz influenced metal such as ATHEIST, CYNIC and GORGUTS.

FruMp | 5/5 |


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