Pestilence – Levels of Perception

Pestilence is a household name in every mind of a death metal fan. Everyone knows them, everyone tends to like their early two-three albums and some people even consider them as pillars of oldschool Death Metal, with a certain level of power, rawness and passion one doesn’t see too often these days.
With the band’s later albums (and in particular almost everything that came after their comeback album “Resurrection Macabre” back in 2009), though, is where the fanbase isn’t so decisive or rather, decisive in its negative feedback.

The thing is, that Pestilence of the 2000s isn’t the band that people are looking for, and it seems that with every release, that image is drifting further and further away. The band is far more technical than what it was, writes far less raw tunes and incorporates many more experimental moments in their music.
I personally see it more than just bad or good, but I cannot hide the fact that on more than one occasion I was shaking my head in light sadness, rather than banging my neck until it breaks.

For any band, re-recording a collection of songs from different albums can be a little tricky.
If those are classic songs – why do they need to be recorded again? If they’re not classics and weren’t really successful back then – then why bother?
Unfortunately, I can’t really find my footings with the band’s 2024 effort. On one hand, you got tunes such as “Horror Detox” that in my opinion totally profited from the change of production style, giving it a bit more tuned-down feel to it. Same goes to “Mobvs Propagantionem” that although sounds way less aggressive than the original, has a certain kind of dirt to it that fits well here.
On the other hand, an almighty track like “Dehydrated” just sounds wrong here. The power isn’t there, the aggression feels like it’s plastered on top. Even a newer track like “Deificvs” somehow manages to sound like it got stripped down from most of the elements that made it good.
That is the feeling that most of this album puts out. It’s not necessarily bad, but it’s also nothing that would be memorable, since the original versions of most of these songs are just plain better.

“Levels of Perception” is, in my not-important-opinion, a case of “Can’t see the forest for the trees”. The focus here on trying to perfect every song once again, going into minutiae details so a specific song would sound better than what it did in the original recording of the album it came out of. Instead of just… trying to re-instill a part of the aggression, a part of something that cannot actually be defined; yet that thing made Pestilence into such a formidable force.
This album isn’t bad per-se, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t see the point of releasing it at this point at time, really.

Rating: 5/10

Release Date: April 2024
Label: Agonia Records


  1. Horror Detox
  2. Mvlti Dimensional
  3. Mobvs Propagationem
  4. Sinister
  5. Dehydrated
  6. Dominatvi Svbmissa
  7. Land of Tears
  8. Necromorph
  9. Deificvs
  10. Twisted Truth
  11. Sempiternvs
  12. Ovt of the Body