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Pestilence - Malleus Maleficarum CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

2.94 | 24 ratings

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3 stars "Malleus Maleficarum" is the debut full-length studio album by Dutch thrash/death metal act Pestilence. The album was released through R/C Records/Roadrunner Records in September 1988. Pestilence was formed in 1986 and on this release consists of Patrick Mameli (guitar, bass), Randy Meinhard (guitar), Marco Foddis (drums), and Martin van Drunen (vocals). The band released the two demo cassette tapes "Dysentery (1987)" and "The Penance (1987)" before being signed for the release of "Malleus Maleficarum".

Stylistically the music on the album continues the raw and brutal thrash metal style of the material on "The Penance (1987)" demo. Itīs just a notch more death metal oriented. So while this is not a 100% pure death metal release, death/thrash wouldnīt be a completely wrong description. Itīs still "Hell Awaits (1985)"-era Slayer and German thrash metal act like Kreator and Sodom, that Iīm mostly reminded of though. Just a bit more adrenaline charged, brutal, and frenetic.

The band are relatively well playing and Martin Van Drunenīs distinct sounding haunted growls are closer to being in place than the case was on "The Penance (1987)" demo, although not completely there yet. Here his singing is somewhere between raw thrash metal vocals and death metal growls. The material on the 10 track, 38:19 minutes long album is predominantly fast-paced and fiercely aggressive, but there are heavy mid-paced sections in the music too. A few tracks stand out but overall "Malleus Maleficarum" is sligthly one-dimensional in style. Iīd mention "Commandments" as one of the highlights of the album. Maybe "Subordinate to the Domination" and "Extreme Unction" too.

The sound production is raw, unpolished, and powerful, but it could have been more clear to highlight more details. It suits the music pretty well though, and considering the date of release, the sound quality is decent enough. So overall "Malleus Maleficarum" is a promising debut album by Pestilence. They still need a bit more maturity in the songwriting department in regards to memorability and forging a more unique sound, but to fans of raw and brutal thrash metal from the 80s (with a few nods towards death metal), "Malleus Maleficarum" is a recommendable release. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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