Pestilence (band)

From Academic Kids

Pestilence were a death / thrash metal band from the Netherlands founded in 1986. Later they incorporated more jazz and Fusion unfluences in their music. They released four albums before disbanding in order to pursue other musical directions - in 1994.



Pestilence began 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 (1986) and The Penance (1987), are pretty raw, sounding mostly like a cross between Possessed and Schizophrenia-era Sepultura. After signing to Roadrunner records, Pestilence released their debut album titled Malleus Malficarum in 1988, further refining their approach to thrash metal. The new material was tighter and more focused than the demos. Shortly thereafter, guitarist Randy Meinhard left the band to pursue other musical goals and he started a new band, named Sacrosanct.

Meanwhile, Pestilence had recruited a new guitar player by the name of Patrick Uterwijk. And in 1989, the band released their second album Consuming Impulse, which turned out to be a transformation to death metal. From a musical standpoint, things got much heavier and more haunting. And vocally, Martin van Drunen moved away from the cleaner vocals in favour of the sick, twisted, and acidic growling. But a lineup changed once again; vocalist and bassist Martin van Drunen left to front Asphyx.

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. Patrick Mameli then took over the vocal duties. With this lineup, they released the album and toured for it. At a time when death metal was exploding from various regions of the planet, Testimony Of The Ancients was probably the album most people became familiar with first. The new material was not as abrasive and twisted as the previous album, but the band's musicianship continued to grow, the direction became even more focused, and the album had the best production job of the band's catalogue.

However, Tony Choy was never a permanent member, and ended up going back to Florida to hook up with Atheist. In the mean time, Pestilence enlisted the talents of Jeroen Paul Thesseling.

Over the years, the Pestilence members were getting into other forms of music, primarily jazz-fusion which, the band wanted with metal. Finally, the fourth and final Pestilence 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 patented death metal style, and used synth guitars throughout the album. However, the new musical direction alienated many of the band's fans.

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 extremely 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. Recently, in 1998 Displeased Records re-released the debut album Malleus Malificarum (which was originally never officially released in Europe), and included both demo recordings from 1986 and 1987.


Former members


  • Dysentery (Demo, 1987)
  • Penance (Demo, 1988)
  • Malleus Maleficarum (1988)
  • Consuming Impulse (1989)
  • Testimony Of The Ancients (1991)
  • Spheres (1993)
  • Mind Reflections (Compilation, 1994)

External links


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