Mascot Records 2011

Dutch death legends Pestilence resurrected this long dormant entity with a rather disappointing affair on the aptly titled, Resurrection Macabre.  After nearly 2 years they try to correct the ship with their new full length, Doctrine.  After an intro that implies the spiritual subtext of the album, Amgod gets rolling.  Chunky technical riffs that leap into a myriad of drum patterns and riff structures.  Then Patrick's vocals kick in.  Sounds as though his throat has dryed out, giving him a sound similar to the legendary Martin.  The guitars drag and then abruptly shift gears and quicken their speed while being peppered with snare hits.  The title-track chugs along with thick riffs and some intricate guitar noodling to fill the voids, yet these accents don't really interfere with the flow of the song.  Some of the riffing can be bland though, such as the opening portion of Salvation.  It feels flat and lifeless.  The riffs just aren't engaging and the guitar solo feels just thrown into the chaos.  This is not the case on Dissolve, where the guitars feel lethargic and occasionally the bass guitar bubbles to the surface adding an interesting texture to the song.  And the melodic lead is a nice addition to the track.  A chunky main riff throbs menacingly on Sinister.  But here is a case of the drums being noticeably overproduced, especially as the bass drums add a "clicky" sound to the song's rhythm.  I am not a big fan of the bouncy rhythm that opens Divinity.  It borders on metalcore.  The final track on the album is Confusion.  It begins in a similar pattern as most of the rest of the songs before it drops into some thrashy sections, which I love.  And the calm melodic passages that back-end these thrashier segments are nice as well.  The whole album is fairly straight-forward with some progressive elements and strange drumwork patched together to give the songwriting a technical feel.  Doctrine is an uneven affair that is maybe a little too smart for its own good, but after Resurrection Macabre I feel that Pestilence is headed in the right direction.  This album leaves a much stronger impression on me, and that can only be a good thing.