Soulfulness is not a word you would normally associate with technical death metal but it’s exactly the right term to describe the range of emotions you will encounter on Celestial Pestilence from San Diego’s “Lord of War.” Riding on the powerful sounds of Alexx War’s insistent lead guitar work and Space Metal themed lyrics, this is an album that will engage your brain, energize your body, and ultimately touch your soul in a way that few in the genre, or any genre, seem capable of achieving.
Don’t get me wrong. Your emo sister will fucking hate this record because from start to finish this is music that will grab you by the throat and shake you with such violence that you have no choice but to bang your head. Death metal is an art form of such complexity and musicianship, you have to know what to listen for to find the soulfulness. On this record, if you look, you will find it. Those powerful emotions live in War’s sweeping leads on the title track, in the unabashed love of powerful breakdowns on songs like Bury Your Living and Warpath, inside a fascinating pyramids-inspired story on Hamunaptra, and ending with the satisfying trip that leads to The Awakening.”
“Lord of War” emerges from a burgeoning San Diego area metal scene that has brought us such luminaries as tech death wizards “Burning the Masses” and grindmasters “Cattle Decapitation.” Celestial Pestilence introduces us to a band that proves it has mastered the compulsory intricacies of the genre and shows “Lord of War” is now ready to lead a new generation of death metal warriors into a battle for our hearts, minds, and yes, souls. Sign me up for the ride.