|Review: Pestilence - Mallevs Maleficarvm|
Label: R/C Records
Year released: 1988
Review online: August 24, 2021
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Rated 5/5 (100%) (5 Votes)
I remember back in the day when I first received my signed copy of this album from my old pen pal Randy Meinhard, who you all probably recognize as Pestilence's old guitarist. I loved their demos and was expecting great things from their debut, Mallevs Maleficarvm, and wouldn't you know it, they were exceeded in every possible way.
This album often gets called Thrash, but considering the heavy production with a guitar sound that crushes like a hammer and Martin van Drunen's raspy vocal delivery, I'd argue there's enough extremity for this to be considered Death/Thrash. Regardless of what you call it, even at this early stage of their careers, Pestilence wrote songs whose brutality and aggression were matched only by their complexity, with a technicality to the musicianship that went a long way to making them household names in the underground shortly after this was released. Songs like "Malleus Maleficarum/Anthropomorphia", "Parride", "Chemo Therapy", and "Bacterial Surgery" are all prime examples of head-flailing Death/Thrash with intensity and intricacy far beyond what was common at the time, making it as much of a classic when it first came out as it is to this very day.
Pestilence would go on to make albums that well exceeded this excellent debut before making several that fell well short of it, but none of that diminishes neither the importance nor the quality of this album. If you never got around to it before, it's never too late to correct that mistake and let the might of Mallevs Maleficarvm rip you to fucking shreds. An underground classic.
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Interview with vocalist/guitarist Patrick Mameli and bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling on December 18, 2011 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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