Monday, 30 April 2012

PESTILENCE - Testimony Of The Ancients (1991)

01  The Secrecies Of Horror
02  Bitterness
03  Twisted Truth
04  Darkening
05  Lost Souls
06  Blood
07  Land Of Tears
08  Free Us From Temptation
09  Prophetic Revelations
10  Impure
11  Testimony
12  Soulless
13  Presence Of The Dead
14  Mindwarp
15  Stigmatized
16  In Sorrow

'Testimony Of The Ancients' is the third album by Dutch death metal band Pestilence, released on September 3rd 1991 via Roadrunner Records. This album uses the "metal standard" of 8 solid songs and interjects short, atmospheric transitions in between each one. While to some this is surely a negative feature, the transitions are as diverse as the songs themselves, and they're really too short to hurt the album at all.

The sound on 'Testimony of the Ancients' is quite the departure from the brutal and savage death metal style on Consuming Impulse. While Patrick Mameli certainly delivers some satisfying growls, his vocal delivery is much more human than the extreme brutality of Martin Van Drunen. It's probably an aquired taste which vocal style you prefer, but viewed upon objectively Patrick Mameli's vocal style is the least unique, but probably also the most accessible. Another distinction to this album is the production, which sounds quite a lot cleaner than 'Consuming Impulse' or the debut 'Malleus Maleficarum'. This is because the band decided to record the album with Scott Burns in his legendary Morrisound studio. Having already worked under two excellent producers in their career, why not a third? Burns was already responsible for work with Atheist, Cancer, Death, Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, and other acts from Florida and beyond, so he seemed a pretty natural choice.

The playing on here is not overly technical but tasteful and executed to perfection. The guitar tandem of the Patricks Mameli and Uterwijk complement each other telepathically it would seem as it is often difficult to distinguish who is doing what. Tony Choy delivers a fine performance, albeit a more subtle one than his stint with Atheist. Marco Foddis also suits the band well, without standing out over either of the dynamic guitar duo. This turned out to be one of the best progressive death metal albums by one of the genre's most innovative pioneers.  Stand-outs include; "Land Of Tears", Presence Of The Dead" and "Stigmatized".

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