Patrick Mameli, Jeroen Paul Thesseling, live 2011.
|Genres||Death metal, thrash metal, technical death metal, progressive metal, jazz fusion, avant-garde metal|
|Years active||1986–1994, 2008–2014|
|Labels||Mascot Records, Roadrunner Records|
|Past members||Marco Foddis
Martin van Drunen
Jeroen Paul Thesseling
Yuma Van Eekelen
Pestilence were a death metal band from the Netherlands founded in 1986. They are known for incorporating jazz and fusion elements into their music. After disbanding in order to pursue other musical directions in 1994, Pestilence reunited in 2008, and as of July 2014, the band is on a "permanent hold". To date, the band has released seven albums.
Early career (1986–1990)
Pestilence started in the Netherlands in the mid 1986 as a thrash metal band. The lineup, consisting of Patrick Mameli (guitar, vocals), Randy Meinhard (guitar), and Marco Foddis (drums), recorded two demos before gaining the attention of Roadrunner Records. After the first demo, Martin van Drunen (bass, vocals) joined them. These two demos - Dysentery (1987) and The Penance (1987) - are raw, sounding mostly like a cross between Possessed and Schizophrenia-era Sepultura. After signing with Roadrunner, Pestilence released their debut album, Malleus Maleficarum, in 1988, further refining their approach to thrash metal. The new material was tighter and more focused than the demos.
Meanwhile, Pestilence recruited a new guitar player, Patrick Uterwijk. In 1989, the band released their second album, Consuming Impulse, a turn toward to death metal. Musically, things became heavier and more haunting. Vocally, Martin van Drunen moved away from cleaner vocals in favour of a more acidic growl. With its release, Pestilence gained international attention, and became highly regarded worldwide by death metal fans. But before a follow-up album was released, the lineup changed once again; vocalist and bassist Martin van Drunen departed to front Asphyx.
Success and breakthrough (1991–1994)
Pestilence were faced again with the challenge of replacing a member, being without a vocalist and bassist. So while recording their third album Testimony Of The Ancients (1991), they enlisted bassist Tony Choy, who at the time was playing with the technical death metal band Cynic and Patrick Mameli took over the vocal duties. With this lineup, they released the album Testimony Of The Ancients. The new material was not as abrasive as the previous albums, but the band's musicianship had obviously grown and the album had the best production job of the band's catalogue.
Over the years, the Pestilence members were getting into other forms of music, primarily jazz fusion which, the band wanted to pair with metal. The band's fourth and final album, Spheres was released in 1993. With every album, Pestilence went through some kind of a change and Spheres was no exception. Pestilence mixed jazz fusion elements into their death metal style, and used guitar synths throughout the album.
Pestilence's popularity had risen with the release of each album, but unfortunately, so did tensions between the members. So after a short period of time, the band unanimously decided to split up, feeling they had reached their creative climax.
In 1994, Roadrunner released one last CD from Pestilence: a best-of titled Mind Reflections, containing tracks from all four albums, plus the rare song "Hatred Within" (originally released on the Teutonic Invasion Part II compilation) and six unreleased live tracks recorded in at the Dynamo Open Air Festival in 1992. In 1998, Displeased Records re-released the debut album Malleus Maleficarum (which was originally never officially released in Europe), and included both demo recordings from 1986 and 1987.
In 2006, Metal War Productions, working with Martin van Drunen, released Chronicles of the Scourge, containing two concert recordings and one unreleased bonus track. The two concerts are Live "Kix Festival" - Veghel, Holland (June 24, 1989) and Live Bochum, Germany (November 18, 1988). A bonus "rehearsal disc" was released with the first 1000 copies.
A long period of inactivity ended in January 2008, when vocalist/guitarist Patrick Mameli told Blabbermouth.net that Pestilence were back. The reunion line-up consisted of Mameli on vocals and guitar, Tony Choy on bass and Peter Wildoer on drums. Speaking to Blabbermouth.net regarding his decision to resurrect the band, Mameli had this to say:
It's not a reunion, because I will not be playing with any of the old lineup guys, except Tony Choy, of course so... I always stated there WILL NEVER BE a reunion, and there won't be, since I never look back at the past and I refuse now to play with people that are not on the same musical level as I am.
I sang on Testimony and Spheres (two albums later from Consuming Impulse!!), so no need for Martin. This because of the above statement I just made. Furthermore, Martin is doing other things. Good for him.
So now you have two members that were in Pestilence before and one new guy.
The reason why I bring Pestilence back to life is that people/fans keep asking me for this. The time is right now and Mascot is giving me the opportunity to do so.As you know, I have always been the driving force behind Pestilence, writing all the music and so forth, so that I can state: I will bring back Pestilence to life. More tech and way more brutal than ever before.
In 2008, Pestilence decided to write and record new music for an early 2009 release working with Danish producer Jacob Hansen. Titled Resurrection Macabre, it is their first original album in sixteen years (since 1993's Spheres). In March 2008 Patrick Uterwijk re-joined the band as second-guitarist, however he didn't play on Resurrection Macabre.
In March 2010, Pestilence announced their first US summer tour in over 16 years which would begin at Maryland Deathfest at Sonar on May 30.
The reformed Pestilence released another album entitled Doctrine in April 2011.
On February 22, 2012, Patrick Mameli announced that Jeroen Paul Thesseling and Yuma van Eekelen both left Pestilence, to commit more on their main projects, Thesseling's Nufutic, and van Eekelen's Exivious. Thesseling was replaced by Stephan Fimmers (Necrophagist), and van Eekelen was replaced by Tim Yeung (Morbid Angel, Divine Heresy, All That Remains, Hate Eternal). The new two members were also included in the recording session of the seventh Pestilence album, Obsideo.
Second breakup (2014)
On July 8, 2014, vocalist/guitarist Patrick Mameli announced that Pestilence is on a "permanent hold", as he wants to "concentrate fully" on his new project Necromorph.
- Malleus Maleficarum (1988)
- Consuming Impulse (1989)
- Testimony of the Ancients (1991)
- Spheres (1993)
- Resurrection Macabre (2009)
- Doctrine (2011)
- Obsideo (2013)
- Dysentery (1987)
- The Penance (1987)
- Mind Reflections (1994)
- Chronicles of the Scourge (2006)
- Pestilence Summon Dark Gods on Obsideo metalsucks.net. 2013-10-26. Retrieved on 2013-12-07.
- "Pestilence Resurrected: 'More Tech And Way More Brutal Than Ever Before'". Blabbermouth.net. 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
- Guitarist PATRICK UTERWIJK To Tour With Resurrected PESTILENCE blabbermouth.net. 2008-17-03.
- "PESTILENCE Announce First U.S. Tour in 16 Years". idiomag. Retrieved 2010-03-16.
- "Patrick Mameli Says Pestilence Is 'Done', Announces Launch Of Necromorph". Blabbermouth.net. 2014-07-08. Retrieved 2014-07-10.
- Official website
- Official Pestilence Myspace
- Land Of Tears - Pestilence fansite
- Official website Jeroen Paul Thesseling
- Interview with Patrick Mameli on Chronicles of Chaos