PESTILENCE — Mind Reflections: The Best of Pestilence (review)

PESTILENCE — Mind Reflections: The Best of Pestilence album cover Boxset / Compilation · 1994 · Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
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.
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