Pestilence Doctrine

With the release of 1994's Spheres, Dutch death dealers Pestilence aligned themselves with Cynic and Atheist to push the envelope of jazz-influenced progressive metal. After a lukewarm reception ― deemed "ahead of their time" in retrospective progressive circles ― head honcho Patrick Mameli grew tired of the scene and dissolved the band. 2009 saw their triumphant return to the fold with the ultra-brutal Resurrection Macabre, a dense death chapter bearing little resemblance to the fusion metal with which they flirted 15 years earlier. Doctrine, however, firmly regains their footing, satisfying both mosh pit-addicts and tech-heads, thanks to the return of Spheres-era bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling. Kicking off with possibly the longest metal cut with lyrics in Latin, "The Predication" sets the brutal stage for scorcher "Amgod," a seething death anthem reminiscent of the band's early works. "Dissolve" slows down the frenetic pace, deliberately spotlighting Mameli's fluid fretwork. The Atheist-styled "Absolution" and "Deception" underline Thesseling's jazz-y bass lines, recalling the same from former bassist Tony Choy. "Malignant" and "Confusion" show Mameli's dedication to viciousness, though Thesseling's bass bubbles up from beneath as firm underpinnings. Doctrine doesn't share the same distinctive fusion chords as their earlier works, and though it may seem like an exercise in violence, this album is well produced, exacting death metal that shows younger upstarts how it's done. (Mascot)