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Pestifier - Expanding Oblivion Award winner

Expanding Oblivion
by Eric Poulin at 11 March 2020, 4:18 AM

PESTIFER are a technical death metal based out Liège, Liège, Belgium. Their roots date back to 1998, but officially the band started out in 2004. This is their third full-length release entitled “Expanding Oblivion” to be released on March 13th, 2020 through the Xenokorp label. First of all, I had never heard of this project but being a huge fan of technical death metal back in the early 2000s, I was extremely curious to hear what a release in this new decade would sound like.

There is some immediate technical savagery in “The Remedy “ that seriously does not let up, maybe for only one smoother passage that lasts about a minute. The guitar work here is absolutely sublime. There is an incredible heaviness in the tone, even it seems like we are hearing a thousand notes a second. The execution is off the charts and just a killer track to start off the album.

“Ominous Wanderers” follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, and one influence I can hear is DEATH. The ominous sound that rips through with its bass guitar tones but also shreds like crazy. Now I just want to state that even though the structure of the song has a lot of progressive parts, it is actually rather easy to follow (maybe because I am used to the style). The song has an interesting dissonant guitar solo as well.

“Silent Spheres” is also in the same vein, but it borrows on some slower parts that you can bang your head to. Again this band perfectly blends the wizardry on the guitars with some more standard death metal passages. “Swallower of Worlds” shows off some crushing parts that reminded me a bit of early GOJIRA. This song sounds like a cross between NILE and THEORY IN PRACTICE. Some added spice in thrashier portions, but the overall recipe results in masterfully heavy number. This one has some very whacky elements, hence the reference to quite possibly one of most technical bands in the genre.

“Fractal Sentinels” has some really insane bass lines that are very clear in the first instances of the songs. Definitely one of the most intense songs on the album, not so much because of how many notes are being played, but how the drums are more aggressive and the overall tone as well. Probably the slowest song but still an incredibly powerful track is “Grey Hosts”, the tone is here is mind-blowing, it is like listening to MESHUGGAH in a submarine 10,000 leagues under the sea. I’ve always been a huge of fan of the low-tone guitar sound and this song uses it to perfection.

A straightforward juggernaut follows with “Omniscient”. I don’t want to repeat myself but this song is all over the place with so many tempo changes, melodic parts and crushing death metal vocals (that are really high quality in every single song). It has been quite some time since I had listened to a technical death metal album and this is as good as it gets. The timing, the notes, the vocals, the production, absolutely everything here is on point. If you enjoy your death metal with progressive tones and complex structures, give this album a spin !

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1.   The Remedy
2.   Ominous Wanderers
3.   Silent Spheres
4.   Disembodied
5.   Swallower of Worlds
6.   Fractal Sentinels
7.   Grey Hosts
8.   Lone Entity
9.   Omniscient
10. Ultimate Confusions
11. Expanding Oblivion
Adrien Gustinv - Bass
Philippe Gustin - Drums
Jérôme Bernard - Vocals
Valéry Bottin - Guitars 
Record Label: XenoKorp


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