PESTILENCE — Consuming Impulse (review)

PESTILENCE — Consuming Impulse album cover Album · 1989 · Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Vim Fuego

Fuck, this was more than slightly disturbing on first listen all those years ago! Such was the anguish and pain in Martin Van Drunen's voice as he squeezed out these strangled words; it was almost possible to believe there was a colony of er… cockroaches or maggots living inside him. It put the shits up me anyway!

In 'Consuming Impulse', Pestilence created their greatest, most complete album, successfully marrying the primitive brutality of their previous effort 'Maleus Maleficarum' with the technicality of their later releases.

While this was Pestilence's second album, the band was still constantly learning about dynamics and how to play their instruments. This album predates the blast beat cliché, but Pestilence could hit the turbocharger when needed, judiciously using faster passages, accenting the mid–paced sections. This was incredibly heavy for its time, as guitarists Patrick Mameli and Patrick Uterwijk had developed a technique playing in tandem where they would let a chord ring on at the end of a riff, creating some chunky harmonics as the guitar sounds merged. Not being a musician, I don't know if this is a technically accurate description of what they were doing, but as a death metal fan, I do know it makes your ring piece tingle!

Lyrically, Pestilence showed a good grasp of English for a Dutch band, but a lack of imagination in subject matter. They fell back on the trusty old faithfuls of gore, God, and doing nasty things to people. The previously mentioned "Out Of The Body" and lead off track "Dehydration" are probably the most convincingly executed. The instrumental "Proliferous Souls" is unusual in that it is not the normal acoustic guitar mood piece, instead staying fully electric and conjuring up images of spirits drifting in the wind across the landscape in search of a final resting place.

Martin Van Drunen later left the band to front the far less complex Asphyx, while Pestilence took the space cadet/ultra technical jazz/prog direction. This is both Pestilence and Van Drunen at their best.
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