REVIEW: Pestilent Decay – Apotemnophilia

Pestilent Decay - ApotemnophiliaPestilent Decay
(Self-released/independent, 2012)
Genre: Instrumental Brutal/Technical Death Metal

I confess I had never heard of this band before (well, one-man band actually). When the boss sent me this album saying it was an instrumental BDM band I immediately thought: “Weird. It’s unusual in the brutal scene”. But I’m not exactly a radical intolerant closed-head BDM fan. I’m always open to new musical experiences. So I accepted the endeavor and here I am reviewing this (digital) album.

What we have here are 18 short and quick brutal tracks, squeezed into just over 21 minutes, where Michael Carnovale (guitars, composing, drum programming) distills his musical competence in themes that transit easily through various extreme styles, especially BDM and grindcore. For reasons of instinct, my head always associate instrumental music with “progressive” bands, something close to the sound made by Blotted Science. However, to my surprise, PESTILENT DECAY breaks this paradigm and adopts a style diametrically opposite.

The big question is: “Does it work?” The answer demands some considerations. Musical styles like BDM are usually very dynamic and direct, features not normally associated with instrumental music, niche where musicians need to compensate the lack of vocals with more elaborate melodies, musical nuances, changing tempos etc. This is exactly in this point, where the impasse appears: PESTILENT DECAY proposes to reconcile the archetypal pattern of instrumental music with normal BDM and grind elements. Though, it seems that any piece of gear was missing.

But do not misunderstand me. Within his hard proposition, Michael Carnovale produced excellent guitar riffs, accompanied by a drum programming quite interesting. However, I got the impression that the songs cry for a vocalist to give them more support and consistency. As the average length of the songs revolve around 1 min 20 sec, the band did not have enough time to promote more complex structures normally expected in an instrumental proposal.

Anyway, the hearing is pleasant and leaves no trauma to the listener, except the clear impression that things would be much more functional if the songs were a bit larger and there was someone roaring like a savage in the middle of it all. Judging by the competence of Michael Carnovale – quite clear on the details of this recording – I’m sure that very soon PESTILENT DECAY will produce many good results.

My favorite tracks: “Apotemnophilia”, “Mutation”, “Roanoke”, “Haloperidol” and “Matewan”.

Score: 6/10.

Links: Facebook

Written by: Antonio Jose Bresci

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