Label: R/C Records - RC 9519 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album • Country: US • Genre: Rock • Style: Thrash, Death Metal
Best viewed without Internet Explorer, in x resolution or higher. In September when Malleus Maleficarum was released, Death's Leprosy had only been out for a month and Morbid Angel didn't have an album out yet, these were quite early days for death metal.
Pestilence is Extreme Unction - Pestilence - Malleus Maleficarum a death metal band, however Malleus Maleficarum is full of thrash metal influences.
Make no mistake though, the thrash played here is extreme in the vein of Possessed and early Death with harmonies reminiscent of Metallica. The music on the album has little to do with the groovy thrash that was played around at that time. The music is full of dissonant melodies, speed and precision.
Pestilence introduce hooks Pictures Of Home - Deep Purple - Machine Head the songs, as the rhythm can change from breakneck to old school breakdowns that are absolutely crushing.
The performances are highly technical, these are guys who have worked hard to master their craft, both in execution and in songwriting. The solos are masterful and the drumming is more than sufficient. Van Drunen had yet to develop his signature death vocal, but he still sounds extreme to the core. In the next album though, the monolith of death metal that is Consuming Impulse, he acquires that full-on death metal scream that he is known for.
Kalle Trapp's production is impeccable, the mix is perfectly balanced with punch and dynamics. The guitar tone is brutally tight and massive at the same time. Of course the fact that the In The Flesh - Pink Floyd - The Wall are so accurate and well executed would help the overall result.
Hard to believe from today's perspective, but there was a time when four juvenile Dutchmen released fantastic tunes under the banner of Pestilence.
These tracks were located at the interface of thrash and death metal. Their young squaller was named Martin van Drunen and their ambitious main composer Patrick Mameli seemingly created more excellent riffs than the whole of the rest of the Netherlands. But to avoid misunderstandings, the whole group obviously had great ambitions and, even more important, the guys did not lack of talent.
Apart from this, they loved to drive at top speed. Although it can actually never be too fast, the songs suffered a tiny little bit from its hectic pace.
The ultra-furious "Parricide" or "Extreme Unction" left a trail of devastation and they were anything else but bad songs. However, with a pinch of serenity, they would had been even more effective. But the guys were young, bloodthirsty and uncompromising. And, Take A Walk - Various - The Return Of The Living Dead (Original Soundtrack) the way, they were successful.
Pestilence still offered an area of violence where other bands began to present their fairly lukewarm songs. How many killers like "Cycle of Existence" do we know, which are also placed at the eighth position of a full-length?
However, Pestilence did not only provide ultra-fast tracks with amazingly erratic solos. Although it was not representative for the full-length, the short intermezzo "Osculum Infame" added a morbid touch. The comparatively slow "Subordinate to the Domination" made me jump for joy. The highly dynamic breaks and the razor-sharp, oppressive riffs were characteristic for this jewel.
Indeed, the debut of Pestilence did not lack of variety. All instruments revealed its full effect, especially during the less rapid sections. Shortly said, the mix matched the furious approach of the newcomers - and this was anything else but a bad thing.
Needless to say that the band demonstrated a surprising musical maturity. Those who did not know the background of the guys would not have presumed to listen to debutants. The cleverly arranged tunes, in particular their extremely good flow, spoke another language. The straightforwardly hammering opener gave a first impression of the band's talent to offer impressively constructed songs.
But the group also managed to write more complicated - not "progressive" - songs in an experienced manner, just dive into "Chemo Therapy" with its frightening chorus or "Bacterial Surgery".
Anyway, the different song patterns did not create a high degree of heterogeneity. Instead, a cold aura was omnipresent, not at least because of Made In The Usa - Ivory Jack - Made In The Usa Drunen's restless barking.
Rather aggressive than charismatic, his performance lived in perfect harmony with the instrumental inferno of his band mates. In winding up, "Malleus Maleficarum" did not suffer from any kind of narcissistic ego trips or "high sophisticated" song structures.
It represented just pure thrash metal and belongs to the albums that shaped my then formable music taste. My Stupid, Stupid War - D.R.I.* - Dealing With It! thanks for that.
Aggression and ferocity are the weapons of choice instead of the sickening and gory DM gimmicks. There are no blast beats either and vocals aren't as deep Frosty The Snowman - Various - Christmas Cocktails Part Three the classic DM growls.
Songs are pretty good but not extremely Extreme Unction - Pestilence - Malleus Maleficarum , at least not every Extreme Unction - Pestilence - Malleus Maleficarum on the record.
In terms of composition, the band has always been very mature and talented. Having two guitarists is something they exploited since the beginning; there are lots of arrangements by Patrick Mameli while the other guy plays the riffs.
Guitar tracks are too thin; I would have had them louder. The distortion they used is very raw and tube-amp like, I love that shit but they lack some weight for my taste. Drum fills aren't extremely technical or creative but they join the riffs nicely and the double bass drums are properly used.
It probably isn't even necessary to get into any kind of detailed intro for this band. Pestilence is the reason for a couple of massive things in the metal world.
Firstly, this is where the death metal god Martin Van Drunen got his start before venturing off Extreme Unction - Pestilence - Malleus Maleficarum other amazing projects including Asphyx, Hail of Bullets and even Bolt Thrower for a bit.
The other notable deed from the Dutch masters is the release of this awesome record "Malleus Maleficarum" and the masterpiece that is "Consuming Impulse. The debut is definitely the most raw release and it could even be considered primitive if compared to the later albums and shows this four-piece band excelling in a genre that was still at a creative peak with other top-notch thrash releases like Morbid Saint's vicious "Spectrum of Death," Coroner's dark, technical thrashterpiece "Punishment For Decadence" and Forbidden's awesome debut "Forbidden Evil.
Extreme Unction - Pestilence - Malleus Maleficarum , his vocals on "Malleus Maleficarum" are unlike his tortured growls of his latter work, as they're more suited for a violent thrash group Einbahnstrasse - Kussgift - Putschversuch they're much less throaty or deep, sounding like a mix of Chuck Schuldiner and Jeff Becerra.
The riffage, too, Extreme Unction - Pestilence - Malleus Maleficarum much more thrash-oriented than the band's later albums, but it doesn't affect the quality whatsoever. The wicked riffs that are seemingly littered throughout this album could hang with just about any of Extreme Unction - Pestilence - Malleus Maleficarum others heard on plenty releases. The rhythm section didn't really do anything overly impressive, but Extreme Unction - Pestilence - Malleus Maleficarum did their job well and that's plenty enough to make the music here heavy and headbang-friendly.
The lead guitar work is another highlight on this album as the two guitarists showed that they're not just playing brutal riffs and trying to be heavier than the every other band, but that they're capable of writing memorable songs filled with awesome melodies and solos. There aren't any complaints that could be made about "Malleus Maleficarum," and while it may not be as good as the record that came after it is still a quality listen and an album that is very worthy of your time.
Before they were officially Extreme Unction - Pestilence - Malleus Maleficarum metal, Pestilence put this thrashterpiece out. Out of their first four albums, this is probably their least unique. Patrick Mameli and the boys really honed their craft on the next album by throwing in much more variety than on here. But Malleus Maleficarum is certainly not bad. This is not death metal. I hear East Coast thrash here. And lots of it. Namely Anthrax and Overkill in their prime, but much faster.
Those breakdowns could have come right off of Taking Over! That could be the Slayer influence, which is also very well pronounced, especially in the tremolo picked sections. Unlike later albums, I don't hear very much Possessed on here. Even Martin Van Drunen's vocals are not the unholy roar of later albums. They're kind of a scratchier, teenage Lemmy.
And they go really well with the thrash feel of the Extreme Unction - Pestilence - Malleus Maleficarum. The solos sound like the solos from Haunting the Chapel; frantic, pick Facial Fracture Rendering Victim Unrecognizable - Leprae - Gangrenous Existence (File) insanity that doesn't have a lot of direction, but rips the hell out of your ears.
A few areas show Patrick Mameli's budding lead guitar mastery, namely "Chemotherepy" and the instrumental "Osculum Infame. Melody is nearly non-existent, except for the intro and the melodic lead in "Chemotherepy" and "Osculum Infame. With the rapid pace of the album, it has a tendency to melt together in a frenzy of skank beats and furious waves of angry guitars. Several bodies have been tortured in many different ways Knives have split the flesh and cut out the eyes, an axe has chopped the hand off One person have been hanging, another burning on the stake, all experiencing the cleansing pain of divine tortures, made by the holy institution of Inquisition.
Unfortunately the lyrics don't really deal with the inquisition topic and tell about completely different, more present problems scientific experiments, totalitarian propagandas etcbut I definitely like the artwork on the LP. After releasing two quite good demo tapes, the band signed a contract Extreme Unction - Pestilence - Malleus Maleficarum And it was in !
Man, I can't believe it was such a long time ago, because for me the album still sounds fresh and unique, just as when I've heard it first time in about If you listen to all Pestilence albums, you'll notice that the band was constantly changing and none of their albums were the same.
It wasso the death metal scene was still in its infancy, only bands like Death, Sepultura "Schizophrenia" Flammenmeer Teil 1 - Deichkind - Bitte Ziehen Sie Durch, Massacra or Possessed were slaying with their full lengths and the style was very influenced by thrash metal.
And the same goes for "Malleus Maleficarum". This LP has a strong thrash metal sound, noticeable in every detail, from the razor sharp riffs and cacophonic guitar solos to the vicious screams of Martin van Drunen. His way of singing may definitely surprise you, if you know the albums that Martin has done after "Malleus Maleficarum", either with Pestilence or Asphyx The way he sang on "Malleus Maleficarum" was not the death metal brutal growling, but rather kind of furious, raw screaming, closer to Mille Petroza, Jeff Becerra, Max Cavalera or even early Chuck Schuldiner.
Speaking of the music, this truly is one of the best records of that time. The songwriting is absolutely brilliant here. The riffs are totally infecting, they'll catch your attention immediately and deliver such a furious energy that it explodes with unmatched strength. The album has absolutely fantastic opening, as the first three songs are classic and pure metal anthems, that will force you to the maniacal headbanging.
What a ferocity.
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