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Pessimist - Holdout

by Kevin Lewis at 13 July 2020, 6:11 PM

PESSIMIST is a five-piece Thrash Metal band from the Baden-Württemberg area of Germany. Formed in 2006, they released a few demos early and put out their first full-length album in 2010. “Holdout” is the third offering from the band, and the first in seven years, released on June 26, 2020 via MDD Records. Hard to believe I think of a band with a decade of experience as the new guys, but in the metal world, ten years is not really all that long a time. This band has obviously used that decade to hone their skills.

The album starts with the sounds of an old battle based on the horses and swords clanging, then lunges full force into a rapid-fire tune with some nice chugging riffs around the chorus. “Landsknecht” is a really good lead off song, showing the prowess the band has with tempo shifts. There are no clean vocals on this album, so be ready to listen closely. The lyrics come fast and rough and do not wait for you to catch on. We transition from “Landsknecht” to “Roaring Thunder”, another blistering opening full of rapid guitars and faster drums. Blast beats are plentiful and very consistent. Underneath the bass guitar is not slacking off. “Kill And Become” displays the talent with a drum intro leading into a mid-paced section that gives way to another blistering melody.

Continuing the tales of death and destruction, “Death Awaits”, “Mountain Of Death” and “King Of Slaughter” are more thrashy goodness with some intricate guitar work and interesting trade-off pieces with the guitars and the bass/drums coming out front as well. “Holdout” and “Agony” both have similar driving beats that run along at a really good pace with some fun guitar fills in a bunch of spots to make the songs feel fresh and unique. Coming in at just over 11 minutes, “7-28” is an epic song, full of tempo shifts and alternate melodies.

Samuel Maier and Jan Hagin are a rhythm section that can lead as well. The twin guitars are formidable, but not the only stars in this band. Do not try to relegate the bottom end to the back of the stage with this band. Murphy Lange and Eric Tobian are forces to be reckoned with. Maier and Hagin do that. With Michael “TZ” Schweitzer out front, this band has a powerhouse line up. This is not the original version of the band, but is definitely a good one. PESSIMIST has a distinct sound in the Thrash Metal realm due to their guttural vocals over clean, yet still giving a nod to the old school, 80’s type Thrash with some of their musical elements. Definitely worth listening to more than once so you can catch all the nuance they layer in.

Songwriting:  8
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  8
Production:  8

4 Star Rating

1. Landsknecht
2. Roaring Thunder
3. Kill And Become
4. Death Awaits
5. Holdout
6. Mountain Of Death
7. The King Of Slaughter
8. Agony
9. 7-28
Michael “TZ” Schweitzer – Vocals
Samuel Maier – Bass/Vocals
Jan Hagin – Drums
Myrdhin “Murphy” Lange – Guitar
Eric Tobian – Guitar
Record Label: MDD Records


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