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Review: Pestilence - Mallevs Maleficarvm
Mallevs Maleficarvm

Label: R/C Records
Year released: 1988
Duration: 38:19
Tracks: 10
Genre: Death/Thrash

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: July 9, 2023
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Mallevs Maleficarvm

Rated 4.59/5 (91.76%) (17 Votes)

This was the debut for Pestilence, and would probably be remembered as their crowning achievement if not for the admitted awesomeness of Consuming Impulse coming barely a year later. However, this is a very different record, and presents a very different sound. This emerged in 1988, just when the Thrash wave was tipping over into the ascendancy of Death Metal, and it reflects those two differing roots. Whereas Consuming Impulse was very much a Death Metal album, this debut is much more a Thrash album.

Malleus Maleficarum busts out with gripping energy and complex, choppy riffing that still manages to be aggressive and catchy. Van Drunen is not as dominant as a vocalist here, and his raspy but understandable style is much more Thrash than the more brutal style he explored on the follow-up (and then went on to use in Asphyx to such good effect.) This album is very much the sound of all the elements of the band coming together well: Mameli's taste for complex songwriting, Van Drunen's penchant for aggression and heaviness, Marco Foddis's pugilistic drum style—all of it just meshes and works better than maybe it ever did afterward. Consuming Impulse was definitely a good album, but it doesn't sound as individual as this one. Malleus Maleficarum's blending of styles makes it sound modern in a way a lot of vintage albums just don't, and so it holds up tremendously well. This is a fine rerelease from Agonia, and if you don't already have it you should get it.

Additional Information

- 2023 reissue on Agonia Records reviewed.

Other related information on the site
Review: Consuming Impulse (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Doctrine (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Doctrine (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Exitivm (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Mallevs Maleficarvm (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Review: Resurrection Macabre (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Spheres (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Testimony Of The Ancients (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with vocalist/guitarist Patrick Mameli and bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling on December 18, 2011 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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