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Pestilence – Spheres – 1993

PESTILENCE – Spheres
Roadrunner 1993
Credits: Marco Foddis – Drums.  Jeroen Thesseling – Bass.
Patrick Mameli – Vocals, Guitar.  Patrick Ulerwijk – Guitar.

In the early 90s, a small flurry of death metal bands experimented with mixing death metal and jazz fusion.  Improbably, the results are almost invariably remarkable.  Pestilence was one such band, and Spheres was their death jazz contribution, a wonderfully crafted blend of jazz-themed riffs, odd time signatures, extremely synth-like guitar lines, and mature lyrics (they never bought into the gore schtick put forth by New Yorkers Cannibal Corpse and their ilk).  What else can I say: I love this style of music, and it thus follows that I love this album.  Too bad Roadrunner records hated it so much that it led to the demise of the band.  Pestilence plays advanced music that avoids the “wank-fest” trap that so many progressive metal bands fall into.  These songs never degenerate into over-indulgence, but reveal more and more individual character upon each repeated listen.  The riff to Multiple Beings, while not very complex, gets stuck in my head all day long.  There are many places throughout Spheres where the listener would swear a keyboard was being played – but it is all guitar synthesizers, something that was totally foreign to death metal at the time (and largely, still is).  To a fan of jazz fusion and death metal, Spheres, and its contemporary albums from Atheist and Cynic, is an absolute essential. Bottom line: Like fine wine, Spheres only gets better with age.

Review by, Mark

Pestilence – Spheres – 1993

PESTILENCE – Spheres
Roadrunner 1993
Credits: Marco Foddis – Drums.  Jeroen Thesseling – Bass.
Patrick Mameli – Vocals, Guitar.  Patrick Ulerwijk – Guitar.

In the early 90s, a small flurry of death metal bands experimented with mixing death metal and jazz fusion.  Improbably, the results are almost invariably remarkable.  Pestilence was one such band, and Spheres was their death jazz contribution, a wonderfully crafted blend of jazz-themed riffs, odd time signatures, extremely synth-like guitar lines, and mature lyrics (they never bought into the gore schtick put forth by New Yorkers Cannibal Corpse and their ilk).  What else can I say: I love this style of music, and it thus follows that I love this album.  Too bad Roadrunner records hated it so much that it led to the demise of the band.  Pestilence plays advanced music that avoids the “wank-fest” trap that so many progressive metal bands fall into.  These songs never degenerate into over-indulgence, but reveal more and more individual character upon each repeated listen.  The riff to Multiple Beings, while not very complex, gets stuck in my head all day long.  There are many places throughout Spheres where the listener would swear a keyboard was being played – but it is all guitar synthesizers, something that was totally foreign to death metal at the time (and largely, still is).  To a fan of jazz fusion and death metal, Spheres, and its contemporary albums from Atheist and Cynic, is an absolute essential. Bottom line: Like fine wine, Spheres only gets better with age.

Review by, Mark

Frankenstein – movie – 2015

I randomly picked out Frankenstein to watch, my expectations were nil, as if nothing, maybe even burdened by the idea it being bad and having to stop watching it. I happy to say that I started to get into it rather quickly from the beginning. To me when I think of Frankenstein I think of the stereotypical one you see on the Munsters, and is very much identified with Halloween. But this movie managed to display something real, something tangible, many perspectives available to perceive this character.

We run through the experimentation, bringing life to the dead. They bring about life to a corpse, or whatever kind of aesthetic they use, it’s uncertain how about they got the body all together. Unless it was like Andy Warhol’s, Flesh for Frankenstein, where they harbor dead corpses to bring to life. Whatever they have brought to life a man, whose intelligence is that of an infant. He is apparently very strong and although susceptible to pain, he seems to endure a great bit of torture and still manages to carry on.

What I like so much about the movie is that, Adam, he rummages through the real world with a infantile perspective. It isn’t until he meets a homeless man, that he begins to learn and grow more intelligence, this is also where you start to hear him speak like a narrative throughout the movie. He makes a conscious effort to support his relationship with the homeless guy, and if not for an awkward proposal for sex, they might very well have been better off. Through the whole movie, Adam is trying to reacquaint himself with whom he calls mother. He wants love, he is a “monster”, but he does have a strong human desire for love.

Even with his best effort, he is ran off by the townspeople and police. Everyone thinks of him as a worthless disgrace. This is something that I found a great parallel to our own society. We find a majority, a herd, and people will blindly attack anyone they deem a monster. Isn’t this the truth with human beings. We harbor so much hate and disgust with our own species, even if our conception of truth is hearsay. We don’t want truth, we just want somebody to hate. Somebody to lynch and humiliate.

Frankenstein – movie – 2015

I randomly picked out Frankenstein to watch, my expectations were nil, as if nothing, maybe even burdened by the idea it being bad and having to stop watching it. I happy to say that I started to get into it rather quickly from the beginning. To me when I think of Frankenstein I think of the stereotypical one you see on the Munsters, and is very much identified with Halloween. But this movie managed to display something real, something tangible, many perspectives available to perceive this character.

We run through the experimentation, bringing life to the dead. They bring about life to a corpse, or whatever kind of aesthetic they use, it’s uncertain how about they got the body all together. Unless it was like Andy Warhol’s, Flesh for Frankenstein, where they harbor dead corpses to bring to life. Whatever they have brought to life a man, whose intelligence is that of an infant. He is apparently very strong and although susceptible to pain, he seems to endure a great bit of torture and still manages to carry on.

What I like so much about the movie is that, Adam, he rummages through the real world with a infantile perspective. It isn’t until he meets a homeless man, that he begins to learn and grow more intelligence, this is also where you start to hear him speak like a narrative throughout the movie. He makes a conscious effort to support his relationship with the homeless guy, and if not for an awkward proposal for sex, they might very well have been better off. Through the whole movie, Adam is trying to reacquaint himself with whom he calls mother. He wants love, he is a “monster”, but he does have a strong human desire for love.

Even with his best effort, he is ran off by the townspeople and police. Everyone thinks of him as a worthless disgrace. This is something that I found a great parallel to our own society. We find a majority, a herd, and people will blindly attack anyone they deem a monster. Isn’t this the truth with human beings. We harbor so much hate and disgust with our own species, even if our conception of truth is hearsay. We don’t want truth, we just want somebody to hate. Somebody to lynch and humiliate.

survival of the fittest

I am not good with predictions, prophecy or telling the future. Infact I keep my mouth shut when it comes to predictions, I would rather watch the cards fall, and then decide for myself accuracy. It isn’t so much recognition, but more so a hint at something invisible, maybe spiritual, something that hints at a power that exceeds our human ability. After all my body collects the oxygen to let blood flow, there must be something that hints at a power greater than ourselves.

It’s difficult to accept life, and secular human beings when you made up for yourself a certain moral law that is dictated by the spiritual. You criticize, antagonize human life. But at our core, we acknowledge a moral law, something to differentiate good and bad. Ravi Zacharias/CS Lewis, both believe that if a moral law exists, than there must be a more lawgiver. The moral law giver of course being god. I have a problem with this idea, only because I think that our environment our reality that is around us dictates wrong and right. I think they are not so much concerned with environmental and surroundings, but more with a singular aspect that reflects onto all human beings. The idea that there are certain things that exist in all of us, and we can all agree that they are in all human beings. We are all affected by certain stimuli, things that are spiritual and non existent in the physical.

It’s hard for me believe that a god imbedded in us certain laws and rules, that if permitted result in a barrier around us, that crushing guilt and conscious wrong. Why do human beings feel this, some human beings (strong ones) can outright resist the idea of wrong in themselves. They are the herd, they follow the physical and resist the spiritual. After all anything that negates a successful lifestyle  must be resisted and thrown away from our consciousness. We have wronged one, or a whole lot more, but we do not allow ourselves to fall into self pity. This reminds me of teachings by Nietzsche, he believes that christianity or spiritual beliefs are all human weakness. He believes in the herd instinct the powerful, the courageous and daring.

I haven’t a clue about where I stand in all of this. But I feel the crushing blows of reality, I have a hard time ignoring the consequence. I fall into the weaker category, but somehow I feel as if I am aligned with something spiritual, something that exists outside of myself. I do not subscribe to certain institutions and churches. The older I get the less I see the exposure of life, but more the love of money and ignore the weaker human beings. Let the herd throw them out, they waste the oxygen somebody with a spine could have. I believe in suicide, only because when a human has no purpose, nothing to permit itself to success. The greatest pain I could endure is the absence of family. That would be a pain I could not endure through.