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Pestilence - Spheres CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.18 | 125 ratings

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4 stars "Spheres" is the 4th full-length studio album by Dutch progressive death metal act Pestilence. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in May 1993. "Spheres" was the last album released by Pestilence before they disbanded in 1994. Pestilence had gained quite a positive reputation in death metal circles with their two previous albums "Consuming Impulse (1989)" and "Testimony of the Ancients (1991)", but they took a left-turn with "Spheres" that, at the time of release, didnīt go down well with neither fans nor critics. The generally bad reception of the album was a major contributor to the demise of the band.

Itīs interesting how "Spheres" was received back then, because today itīs often referred to as one of the seminal technical/progressive death metal albums of the 90s. Itīs an example of an album that was so ahead of itīs time, that it took years before people retrospectively started to hail itīs genius and groundbreaking nature.

Stylistically the music on "Spheres" is a technical form of death metal featuring, intelligible growling vocals, death/thrashy riffing, atmospheric spacey synth guitars (despite what it sounds like, no keyboards were used on this album), busy and quite adventurous bass playing and jazzy guitar solos. A very original combination of musical elements, that at times almost defies catagorization. Itīs progressive in the true sense of the word.

"Spheres" is a relatively short album featuring 11 tracks and a full playing time of 33:17 minutes, but as a consequence of the complex and rather challenging combination of ideas and sounds, itīs a perfect length for the album. Out of the 11 tracks on the album, 3 are shorter atmospheric interludes, so there are actually only 8 "regular" length tracks on the album. Itīs an album with a great flow though and there isnīt a dull second here. All tracks are worth mentioning, but the atmospheric "Personal Energy", which is placed right in the middle of the album, and the title track, which features multible solos and changes in mood, are among the highlights.

"Spheres" features a sound production, that suits the music but fans of the bandīs earlier material shouldnīt expect a powerful death metal sound. This is a bit more sophisticated and relies less on raw power and more on atmosphere and attention to detail.

upon conclusion "Spheres" is strong album release by Pestilence and it should appeal to fans of artists like Atheist, Cynic, Sadist and Gorguts. Itīs an album that divide the waters though and more conservative minded death metal fans that enjoyed the bandīs earlier material because of itīs death metal brutality and edgy riffing, might not find much to like here. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

UMUR | 4/5 |


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