PESTILENCE

Death Metal / Thrash Metal / Technical Death Metal • Netherlands
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Pestilence is a death metal band from Enschede, The Netherlands founded in 1986. Later they incorporated more jazz and fusion elements into their music. They released four albums before disbanding in order to pursue other musical directions in 1994. Pestilence reformed, and released the 2009 album 'Resurrection Macabre'.

Pestilence started in the Netherlands in mid 1986 as a thrash metal band. The lineup, consisting of Patrick Mameli (guitar, vocals), Randy Meinhard (guitar), and Marco Foddis (drums), recorded two demos before gaining the attention of Roadrunner Records. After the first demo, Martin van Drunen (bass, vocals) joined them. These two demos - Dysentery (1986) and The Penance (1987) - are raw, sounding mostly like a cross between Possessed and Schizophrenia-era Sepultura. After signing to Roadrunner Records, Pestilence released their debut album titled Malleus Maleficarum in 1988, further refining their approach to thrash metal. The new material was tighter and more
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PESTILENCE Discography

PESTILENCE albums / top albums

PESTILENCE Malleus Maleficarum album cover 3.71 | 13 ratings
Malleus Maleficarum
Thrash Metal 1988
PESTILENCE Consuming Impulse album cover 3.88 | 27 ratings
Consuming Impulse
Death Metal 1989
PESTILENCE Testimony of the Ancients album cover 3.91 | 32 ratings
Testimony of the Ancients
Technical Death Metal 1991
PESTILENCE Spheres album cover 3.90 | 32 ratings
Spheres
Technical Death Metal 1993
PESTILENCE Resurrection Macabre album cover 3.00 | 15 ratings
Resurrection Macabre
Death Metal 2009
PESTILENCE Doctrine album cover 2.88 | 17 ratings
Doctrine
Death Metal 2011
PESTILENCE Obsideo album cover 4.00 | 5 ratings
Obsideo
Death Metal 2013
PESTILENCE Hadeon album cover 3.72 | 7 ratings
Hadeon
Death Metal 2018

PESTILENCE EPs & splits

PESTILENCE live albums

PESTILENCE Chronicles of the Scourge album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Chronicles of the Scourge
Death Metal 2006

PESTILENCE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

PESTILENCE Dysentery album cover 2.50 | 2 ratings
Dysentery
Thrash Metal 1987
PESTILENCE The Penance album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
The Penance
Thrash Metal 1987

PESTILENCE re-issues & compilations

PESTILENCE Mind Reflections: The Best of Pestilence album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Mind Reflections: The Best of Pestilence
Death Metal 1994
PESTILENCE Two From The Vault album cover 4.17 | 2 ratings
Two From The Vault
Death Metal 2003
PESTILENCE The Dysentery Penance album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
The Dysentery Penance
Thrash Metal 2015

PESTILENCE singles (0)

PESTILENCE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

PESTILENCE Reviews

PESTILENCE Consuming Impulse

Album · 1989 · Death Metal
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Unitron
Anxious, disturbing, manic.

Never has any album invoked real horror and anxiety more than Pestilence's Consuming Impulse. Instrumentally, it's an incredible album with fantastic hooks, thrashing rage, screaming solos, and all that is essential to death metal. Out of the Body and Reduced to Ashes especially have absolutely crushing grooves. However, the vocals are what takes it to a whole new level of what death metal can be.

On every song, every vocal, Martin van Drunen sounds like he's screaming for his life and there's nobody there to save him from all the torment. Dehydrated is about dying in a barren desert, The Trauma is self-explanatory, Out of the Body seems to be about having your body infested with parasites, Chronic Infection about having an incurable disease, and Echoes of Death is probably the most emotionally powerful song about death I've ever heard.

This is truly a one-of-a-kind album, and is one of the most passionate performances I've ever heard. It's a shame Pestilence were never able to make anything like it again, but they really couldn't do it without Drunen.

PESTILENCE Mind Reflections: The Best of Pestilence

Boxset / Compilation · 1994 · Death Metal
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UMUR
"Mind Reflections" is a compilation album by Dutch progressive death metal act Pestilence. The compilation was released through Roadrunner Records in 1994. Pestilence were formed in 1986, released two demos in 1987, and their debut full-length studio album "Malleus Maleficarum" in 1988. The band´s early releases (including the demos) were brutal thrash metal or early examples of death metal oriented thrash, but their second full-length studio album "Consuming Impulse (1989)", saw Pestilence play a more pure death metal oriented style (but still with thrash metal traits shining through).

With the departure of lead vocalist/bassist Martin Van Drunen in 1990, Pestilence shifted their focus towards a more technically challenging and progressive oriented death metal style on their third full-length studio album "Testimony of the Ancients (1991)" (where guitarist Patrick Mameli took over the vocal duties). They took the deep plunge with "Spheres (1993)" though, which featured an atmospheric jazz/fusion influenced progressive death metal style, so it´s safe to say the first 8 years of the band´s career saw them develop and change their sound between each release. They disbanded in 1994 and as if often happens when artists disband and still owe their label more releases in their contract, a compromise is made and either a live album or a compilation album is released. I´m putting my money on little to no band involvement on this compilation release.

"Mind Reflections" is actually part best-of compilation and part unreleased live and rarities compilation, as the album features selections from all four above mentioned studio albums, the track "Hatred Within", which was recorded in 1988 and featured on the Roadrunner Records 1988 "Teutonic Invasion Part Two" compilation, but not originally featured on the contemporary "Malleus Maleficarum (1988)" (some later reissues features the track as bonus material), and six tracks recorded live at The Dynamo Open Air Festival, Eindhoven, Holland in June 1992.

The live tracks aren´t particularly well produced, and as a result seem a bit redundant on a compilation release. "Hatred Within" isn´t the most interesting track from the early days of Pestilence, and outside being a rarity, doesn´t bring much to the table. The studio album selections can always be discussed, but except for the fact that only "Mind Reflections" is featured from "Spheres (1993)", the tracks from the studio albums are a fairly good representation of Pestilence´s sound and development in the period. "Parricide" and "Subordinate to the Domination" were chosen from "Malleus Maleficarum (1988)", and both are definitely some of the better tracks off that release, and the listener is also treated to classics like "Out of the Body" and "Twisted Truth", from the next two albums, so the studio album track selection isn´t bad at all.

Pestilence reunited again in 2008 and began releasing studio albums again, so if "Mind Reflections" was originally meant to mark the end of the band´s career, it doesn´t anymore. Upon conclusion I´ve listened to both better and worse compilation albums, and this one sits in the middle, with both some good track selections from the various studio albums, but also a relatively uninteresting rarity track, and some not very well sounding live tracks. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

PESTILENCE Hadeon

Album · 2018 · Death Metal
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UMUR
"Hadeon" is the 8th full-length studio album by Dutch death metal act Pestilence. The album was released through Hammerheart Records in March 2018. It´s been 5 years since the release of "Obsideo (2013)" and from the interviews with band leader/guitarist/lead vocalist Patrick Mameli I´ve read in the intermediate years, it sounded like he had once again put Pestilence on hold. This time to concentrate on his new project Neuromorph, but apparently Mameli has changed his mind because we´ve heard nothing from Neuromorph as of yet, and here we have another Pestilence album. Since the release of the predecessor Mameli has changed the entire lineup except for himself. Guitarist Patrick Uterwijk has been replaced by Santiago Dobles (Council of the Fallen, Aghora, Cynic), drummer David Haley has been replaced by Septimiu Hărşan, and bassist George Maier has been replaced by Tilen Hudrap.

Stylistically little has changed since the predecessor (and the one before that) as Pestilence still play technical/progressive death metal and they still sound unmistakably like themselves (major lineup changes or not). The tracks are maybe slightly more catchy and immediate than the material on the two relatively similar sounding predecessors, but it´s not a major change of sound. The number of sharp and powerful death/thrash riffs and rhythms have increased though and the use of dissonance and progressive ideas have decreased some. Listening to a track like "Astral Projection", which features an atmospheric section with a spacey vocoder voice, it´s obvious that Pestilence still are a progressive oriented death metal act. The many jazz/fusion type guitar solos and occasional dissonant riffs point in that direction too. Mameli´s intelligible death/thrash growling is the same as always. He has a fairly distinct sounding voice and vocal style.

"Hadeon" is a well produced, powerful, and detailed sounding album, and the sound production suits the material perfectly. The whole thing reeks an odd spiritual abstract sci-fi atmosphere. An atmosphere which is further enhanced by the lyrics and song titles like "Non Physical Existent", "Multi Dimensional", and "Layers of Reality". Upon conclusion "Hadeon" is another high quality release to the Pestilence name, and while this one (and the other post-2000 Pestilence releases) aren´t quite as groundbreaking as the late 80s/early 90s releases by the band, they still prove that Pestilence are relevant and can produce quality music. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

PESTILENCE Hadeon

Album · 2018 · Death Metal
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Nightfly
Pestilence has not had the easiest of rides over the years, from fans and critics alike. It could be argued that this is their own doing as they have shifted styles almost on an album by album basis. From their early critically acclaimed death/thrash days they moved into a less raw sounding and more technical form of death metal with Testimony Of The Ancients. They then alienated a lot of fans with the jazz laden Spheres with mainman Patrick Mameli being highly influenced by the guitar work of Alan Holdsworth and other jazz/fusion players. A split followed but a return in 2008 led to the 2009 album Resurrection Macabre which seemed to signal a return to less experimental days. However, it was short lived with following album Doctrine lacking direction and re-introducing the jazz elements to a certain extent though less successfully than on Spheres. The more cohesive Obsideo followed and whilst not ditching the jazz/tech aspects entirely was a far more satisfying collection of songs and one of my favourites from the band.

Roll on to 2018 and Hadeon, studio album number eight. Perhaps they’ve grown tired of the critics but for whatever reason Hadeon is their most straight forward death metal album for a quite some time. It’s certainly doesn’t have the raw sound of Consuming Impulse having an up to date production. Nor does it ditch the technical aspects altogether and with players of this calibre I wouldn’t want them too. Old school death metal it ain’t but they focus more on delivering a collection of songs with great riffs and groove. The riffs are tight and they occasionally throw in a bit of thrash into the overall death metal sound. There’s a healthy dose of dissonance in many of these riffs as well, Oversoul being a prime example which drives along with a strong mid pace groove. All the songs are pretty short with nothing reaching the four minute barrier but they manage to inject plenty of changes into them. There’s still the odd moment of jazz creeping in like the bass led instrumental Subvisions and on some of the guitar solos too which generally have a strong melodic sensibility. Mameli is singing in a slightly lower register to my ears and far more satisfying than the screeching on Doctrine. My only gripe, which is minor, is I could have done without the robotic vocals that appear on a couple of songs like Ultra Demons though they are short lived.

Hadeon should keep most Pestilence fans more than happy (unless you only like Spheres) which doesn’t mean it smacks of compromise. Myself, I thought Obsideo was a great album, but this is equally so, just a more streamlined version of the band.

PESTILENCE Consuming Impulse

Album · 1989 · Death Metal
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Warthur
Whereas their debut album had offered a death-tinged take on thrash metal, Pestilence's followup Consuming Impulse showcases them playing a thrashy style of death metal. Those who are especially fond of Pestilence's more technical or progressive takes on the genre, as on Testimony of the Ancients or Spheres, ought to be aware that you really won't find many hints of that here, since this is much more of a straight-ahead death metal album.

To an extent Pestilence could be accused of having followed various bandwagons, at least for the early phases of their career; they debuted with thrash metal in an era when thrash was king, then here they put out some death metal to tie in with the rise of that, then they went technical because that's what was getting fashionable in death metal circles, then they followed Cynic and Atheist into the jazz-death realm, and so on. Certainly, there is no shortage of death metal albums which sound a bit like this one, but it's still a reasonably good example of that style.

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