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Pestilence - Mind Reflections CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

2.63 | 4 ratings

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3 stars Pestilence was a technical death/ thrash band from The Netherlands who made four studio albums between 1988 and 1994. The first one Malleus Malificarum is mostly a late eighties thrash metal album with a more extreme singer. The second album called Consuming Impulse is a very brutal Death Metal album even though there are still thrash tendencies in the music. Pestilence third album Testimony of the Ancients maintain the brutality while exploring new more technical and melodic territories. The fourth album from Pestilence and the last one is their most progressive one. Spheres is a very original album that mixes tech death and jazzy synth guitar layers. Itīs a very unique album. This is a compilation album spanning the entire career of Pestilence.

There were a couple of lineup changes through the years but the most notable change was when singer/ bassist Martin Van Drunen left after Consuming Impulse. Known for his extreme and tortured death metal growls Martin Van Drunen was dissatisfied with the more technical direction the band began to explore after Consuming Impulse as his main goal was to make more simple and brutal music. He found likeminded metalheads in his new band Asphyx with whom he made a couple of albums in the nineties, the most notable one being The Rack. He has also played with swedish death metal project band Comecon, dutch death meatl band submission and toured with british death metal band Bolt Thrower ( I saw him myself on the ...For Victory tour).

Other notable personalities who was in Pestilence for a while was Tony Choy ( Cynic, Atheist) who played bass on Testimony of the Ancients and also toured with Pestilence on the following tour.

There are two songs here that represents the first album Malleus Malificarum: Parricide and Subordinate to the Domination. These two exact songs are about the only songs from the debut that I think are worth listening to so Monte Conner made a wise choice here. Parricide has some thrashy Slayer like riffs that I as a big Slayer fan enjoy very much and Subordinate to the Domination is also a pretty good song.

There is one more song from that period of Pestilence career which was released on a sampler album. Hatred Within is recorded by the same lineup that played on Malleus Malificarum, but the sound quality is more raw and unpolished ( not that Malleus Malificarum is very polished). Itīs probably the least exciting song here for me though.

Consuming Impulse is represented by Out of the Body, The Process of Suffocation and Dehydrated which are wise decisions for a best of album as well. Out of the Body has always held a special place in my metal heart and still do. Itīs simpy one of the most brutal songs I know. Martin Van Drunen sings with such conviction and sinister malice that Iīm blown to pieces every time. Both The Process of Suffocation and Dehydrated are also very good songs from Consuming Impulse.

The third album from Pestilence Testimony of the Ancients are represented by Twisted Truth, Land of Tears and The Secrecies of Horror. Again these are wise choices even though you could have picked almost any song from this great album.

But then comes the odd thing. Spheres even though itīs IMO the best album Pestilence ever made is only represented here with one song. Mind Reflections is a very good songs that emphazises the high standard on Spheres though and I can only regret that people who pick up this compilation to learn more about Pestilence will only hear one song from Spheres. Itīs a bit of a shame really if you ask me.

The album is end with four live songs recorded live in 1992 on the Testimony of the Ancients tour. Dehydrated, Chemotherapy, Presence of the Dead and Testimony are all played with conviction by the band. Too bad the sound quality is very weak. I canīt claim that I enjoy these songs that much. Patrick Mameliīs voice sounds very bad here too and itīs not because he doesnīt give all the got, but the production on this voice sounds bad to me.

Overall this is a very good compilation even though there are flaws as I mention above. Especially the fact that Monte Conner has only chosen to include one song from Spheres is really strange IMO. The live tracks donīt earn Mind Reflections more stars either and neither does the below standard song Hatred Within. This is a good overview of Pestilence career though, even though itīs always recommendable to get the real albums instead especially Testimony of the Ancients and Spheres. Iīll rate this 3 stars for being a good introduction to the band.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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