Pestifer – Execration Diatribes (2017)

Their debut full-length despite having been together since 2000, it is better late than never to hear frighteningly tumultuous death vomit forth metal from this portuguese trio. Each member of the band has played in remarkable numbers of other bands, with their drummer Diogo Pererira still playing in Decrepidemic, Grunt and Holocausto Cannibal, as well as filling in for several other acts in the region. He also plays in a couple of non-metal acts, or at least a couple of acts not considered heavy enough for Metal Archives. While the other members of the band (frontman Pedro Silva and bassist Jorge Marinho, respectively) have also played in a number of other acts, none of these guys play in more active bands than their drummer.

That being said, is his performance on the kit indicative of this talent? Well, of course. First off, the album is a pummeler. There are more than enough blasts to suit your pallete, but Periera doesn’t necessarily blast the kit and he doesn’t trigger his drums either. So there’s no real “lawnmower hitting a brick” sound to speak of here, thankfully. More bands need to learn from his example and actually learn how to master the drums, rather than cheap tricks. In any case, you are going to get severely beaten over the head with this one and it has the same effect that might occur if you received a large boulder through the roof, sent through some sort of massive technological catapult that could hurl such an object all of the way from Portugal to your area. If that’s here in the states, then you can pretty much expect a hunk of granite with the trajectory of an air to ground missile to come barreling through your home and directly into your face. Which is what this does. The pain does not cease, and neither does Silva’s horrdily thick salival utterances, sounding like something not remotely human and perhaps a monster that they’ve found in the forests there and trapped in a cage to perform vocals.

Most of the record seems to stick with the same pace and tempo until “Awaken By Death” hits, which causes a slowdown in the performance and brings the band closer to that of groove, with a hint of thrash. There’s still plenty of relentless death metal to speak of, but it doesn’t really leave me with anything more than a bruised skull, which is more than enough for most people when it comes to this genre. I don’t suppose I can be too upset with a death metal act for playing death metal, which is mainly what the record offers. For most death heads, you can more or less narrow down the influences here and that’s not entirely a bad thing – it’s just not nothing all that new, exciting or innovative. I can say that we’ve definitely heard similar approaches before, but Silva’s vocals at least give me something to chew on in the way of slight originality that I do love. If you’re looking for a straight-forward death metal album with a hefty amount of bass groove (Marinho performs more than enough of that here) and not so much in the way of differentation or complete genre-shifts, than you’ll love this one. Best of all, they get a little bit thrashy at times and even throw in some hefty (though sometimes a bit hard to discern) Slayer-esque solos.

Execration Diatribes is the kind of album that you would give to a young kid who considers acts like Slipknot and Five Finger Death Punch to be among some of the heaviest bands that they’ve ever heard. This is unfortunately very common in the US scene, where when one answers with such monikers when asked “What bands do you listen to?” and ends up looking a bit sheepish to the other person. Just a couple of days ago, a gentleman whom I worked with mentioned having listened to Five Finger Death Punch, which was a bit common (the CDs are actually sold in our store) and I disregarded it a little until he said that he enjoyed Metalocalypse. Though Small’s brand of death metal is still a tad watered down, it is a bit closer to this record and more along the lines of what actual death metal is. So if you’re speaking with someone and they don’t really seem to know how unhinged and deliciously volatile this genre can be, make sure to pass them a record like this in order to give them a necessary education. Not only is it a smashing death metal release, it is also an educational experience.

While several of us have records that sound just like this at home, a devil-soaked release like this is just what some of these damn kids need in order to experience what real underground blood and gore sounds like, and not just the polished mainstream stuff. Pestifer take no prisoners, they don’t throw in pianos and clean vocals and there’s no harp playing. This record is quite obviously very south of harp playing, very south of heaven if you get my drift…

(9 Tracks, 38:00)

7.5/10

https://lavadome.bandcamp.com/album/execration-diatribes

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