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Pestilence – ‘Exitivm’

Agonia Records
Death, Atheist, Sadus, Nocturnus
Release Date
June 25, 2021
Agonia Records
Progressive Death Metal

                Imagine living in a world where you create three genuine masterpieces as your first trio of albums and then spend the remainder of your career chasing your tail as fans and critics alike pulled their noses up in spite. This is sadly what happened to Pestilence, as the band returned from another break in 2016 releasing the average ‘Hadeon’ to the rousing sigh of ‘here we go again’ in 2018, but now the Dutch band are back with their latest offering ‘Exitivm’.

                In all honesty, ‘Exitivm’ does go someway towards breaking the Pestilence curse and the band haven’t sounded this fired up in years. Yes, the album does stick within the progressive death metal remit that the band have been pursuing for the last 20 years or so and with ‘Exitivm’ it actually sounds like the whole process is starting to work and gel together well. This is partly because the Pestilence captain Patrick Mameli has recruited an entire new band and it is paying dividends, ‘Exitivm’ sounds fresh and exciting with some brilliant guitar playing from Rutger van Noordenburg who stands tall with his technical expertise. Tracks such as ‘Mortifervm’, ‘Deificvs’ and ‘Dominatvi Svbmissa’ perfectly showcase what ‘Exitivm’ is all about and fans of progressive death metal will find something to enjoy.

                However, the main issue here with ‘Exitivm’ is that very few of the songs actually leave a lasting impression; yes, these tracks are really good and enjoyable whilst playing but once the album finishes, it isn’t exactly easy to recall much, even if it has just finished playing. Ultimately, this album is a far cry from that initial trio that Pestilence delivered; but it’s time we stopped looking back and look at ‘Exitivum’ as what it is, an enjoyable album that has the opportunity to usher in a new chapter for a legendary band.   

"an enjoyable album that has the opportunity to usher in a new chapter for Pestilence"

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