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