Pestilence
Malleus Maleficarum/Consuming Impulse (Reissues)

Give it up for Hammerheart partnering with Patrick Mameli to bring you the first set of Pestilence reissues.  Each paragraph will focus on each of these reissues, my thoughts and the impact each had on the scene.  My second Pestilence reissue review package will be in the new year encompassing Testimony of the Ancients and Spheres.  Just in time for Pestilence to release their new album, Hadeon, with a new lineup Patrick put together.

In 1988 Malleus Maleficarum took the underground death/thrash scene by storm.  I was quite blown away and to this day it blows away a lot of other debut albums.  Aggressive, but still retaining quite a bit of melody, this album was way ahead of its time. Tunes like “Subordinate to the Domination”, “Chemotherapy” and “Extreme Unction”, were and are still brutal but played with an extraordinary amount of musicianship for a debut album.  The album was blending death metal with their high intensity thrash sound. Van Drunen was still honing his vocals and has such a rage to his vocals. Foddis pounds the drums and Randy played some good rhythm guitar.  Patrick injected some nice solos and his riffs, super catchy. My fave song has always been “Systematic Instruction”.  Perfect album closer. Erwin Hermsen has done a remarkable remastering job with Patrick assisting in the process.  You get a sound that crushes the MetalMind reissue from years ago. Sound is louder, crisper, in your face, while still preserving its original authenticity.  Disc2 contains the Dysentery demo which Patrick sang on and The Penance with Martin, as well as another bonus track. The demos have been facelifted with the remastering and I’m so impressed with the barely audible hiss, thanks to this remastering.  There are some rather strong songs and you can see how the band were still developing their craft. The booklet contains: liners, lyrics, photos and flyers. The cd is housed in a slipcase. Outstanding and worthy of your collection.

In 1989 I was driving to a metal show and my friend whipped out the Consuming Impulse cassette and I loved the cover. We could not stop listening to it.  It crushed.  Pestilence went full on death metal and the heaviness increased to the point making it one of the heaviest albums of that time.  Even by today’s standards it blows away most death metal. This is true organic heaviness. I went to this place in Long Island called Adventureland.  Glass pane for all the people outside to see while they created a video for you. I did “Dehydrated” while playing guitar and doing vocals. I lip synced the song pretty well and thrashed all over the place. People thought I was a weirdo with my shorts and metal shirt and mullet.  Fuck ‘em.  This is one of the best death metal songs. That slow down where Martin sings “vultures circling in the sky, peeling the flesh from a corpse…” omg yes I know the lyrics backwards and forwards, this part is so lethal.  How about “Out of the Body”?  That opening riff and then Martin comes in with the bass slide, Foddis hits the toms and Martin lets out a devastating growl.  It’s perfection.  Patrick Uterwijk was the new guitarist and alongside Mameli they were an unstoppable force.  Pestilence had visa issues and missed the Carcass/Death tour date I was going to see them on but I bought the poster with their logo. It sucked cause I wanted to see Pestilence. Hopefully someday so I can buy Mr. Mameli a beer and thank him personally for creating one of the best death metal albums ever.

This 2CD slipcase edition is the first remastering Consuming Impulse has received. The same remastering guru again and the album punches you in the face with loudness and clarity. It is phenomenal.  Disc 2 are live shows which have been spit shined and polished to sound great.  Lyrics, liners, photos, flyers and the original rejected brutal cannibalistic album cover encompass the terrific booklet. These reissues are both Buy or Die. Utterly perfect and most respectful to one of the pioneering bands in the death metal scene.
 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
December 12th, 2017

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