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After delivering the awesome "Malleus Maleficarum" only a year earlier, Pestilence would unleash this monolith of death/thrash greatness on Christmas of 1989, and I could only imagine how awesome it would've been to unwrap a "Consuming Impulse" LP and see that near-iconic album cover staring back at me (what an unholy holiday that would've been). The thrashy record that preceded this one was a fantastic foundation for the Dutch quartet to build upon and they did just that, as nearly every aspect of the music on their sophomore is improved from the debut. The riffs, vocals, solos, songwriting, rhythm section and every other intangible part of the horrific music is better than it was on "Malleus Maleficarum," making "Consuming Impulse" a must-have for any fan of death metal, thrash metal or all around violent and gut-wrenching music made to crush bones and fracture skulls.
I can't pick just a single highlight of this record, as it's impossible to choose between Van Drunen's brilliant vocals and the excellent riff-fest courtesy of Patrick Mameli and Patrick Uterwijk. Van Drunen provided one of his best performances on this album (second only to his amazing work on "Last One on Earth"), as he no longer sounded like the thrash frontman from the prior album, but a man who personifies death. Put together his brand of death growls which sound like someone who is dying from a slow shotgun wound to the chest with song titles like "The Trauma" and "Reduced to Ashes" and you've automatically got a winner. Throw in some of the catchiest riffs around and you've got an instant masterpiece. It also helps that the rhythm section is improved as well. I can actually pick out drum fills that caught my attention throughout the record and I never had a problem with the drumming during faster parts of the music or the fills during slower and heavier moments. Even the inclusion of synths at points doesn't bother me as the break in "Suspended Animation" is one of the most memorable moments of the album. The riffs are brutalizing, the vocals are horrendously perfect and the headbanging inevitably painful, yet entirely satisfying.
When you kick off a record with a death/thrash classic like "Dehydrated" which features a terrific mix of thrashy and death metal influenced riffs, you've gotta wonder how the band would top that song later on, and then they do with another onslaught in "The Process of Suffocation." Every song features riffs of the "to-die-for" variety; riffs that are instantly ingrained in one's DNA and also induce plenty of whiplash, though no song has more chaotic and violent riffage than "Echoes of Death" which would put Demolition Hammer (the masters of violence) to shame. "Deify Thy Master" also balances out the heavy with the darker material with its sweet tremolo passages and melodies that foreshadowed what was to come later on in the band's constantly evolving discography. "Consuming Impulse" isn't only a vast improvement from the already stellar debut album, but a masterful work that has stood the test of time as one of the best death/thrash full-lengths ever. I can't recommend this album enough, so I'll let the music do the talking for me and if you haven't had the pleasure of listening to Pestilence's finest work, prepare to be reduced to ashes.
"The Process of Suffocation"
"Echoes of Death"
Originally written for Nightmare Reality Webzine.
Well, I can't say that I'm as big a fanatic about this album as everyone else is. But it sure as fuck is enjoyable!
This finds itself half way between Death's Leprosy and classic Scandinavian death metal. There is a lot of bottom end to the songs and a great deal of groove. The production really brings out the bottom end, which is not exactly the best thing for Pestilence, I feel. If you look at the fast, Possessed influenced riffs that make up Malleus Maleficarum and Testimony of the Ancients, a lot of bottom end doesn't really work. But then again the material on here is decidedly the least technical of Pestilence's output. The tempo as well is a bit slower, perhaps foreshadowing the material Martin would go on to do with Asphyx. Once in a while they'll throw in a little technical run just to remind you that they can play complicated stuff.
While Consuming Impulse is death metal, there is a lingering thrash influence all over the place, mostly of the East Coast and German variety. It's just played with down tuned guitars. I'm not that nuts about solos on here; they lack the character that they had on Malleus Maleficarum and the finesse of Testimony of the Ancients. Not terrible, but not memorable. Marco Foddis' drumming sounds a hell of a lot like Voivod; very thrashy, a bit punk, and totally energetic.
The highlight is easily Martin Van Druen's completely brutal vocals. The guy sounds like he's going to fucking die at any second, and is rightly regarded as one of the best voices in death metal. And apart from the first Pestilence album, he is bloody consistent. Just his vocals are worth the price of the album.
Probably because of the simpler approach, and my own preference for Testimony of the Ancients, I'm a bit biased against this album. Patrick Mameli was/is a great musician, and I prefer it when he gets a little weirder with his compositions. It's still a mandatory purchase for any death metal fanatic, as it is hands down the heaviest riffing Pestilence has ever put down.
Do you know the feeling of incredible pain from the multiple stab wounds or your flesh slowly torn to pieces? Or maybe I should say the pain of slow death from dehydration, because this is what I think you'll suffer, when you get hit by the riffs of "Dehydrated", the opening song from Pestilence's second album, 1989's "Consuming Impulse". The riffing in it will pierce you, will open your body and bring torments you’ll never forget. And they'll continue when "The Process of Suffocation" and rest of the album will sound. After such a malevolent creation which was "Malleus Maleficarum" debut - a strong and memorable thrashing LP, Pestilence came back heavier and more brutal than earlier and ever, as even in the future I think they haven't recorded such massive and aggressive death metal album.
Yeah, I think it must have raised some eye brows, when this Dutch crew turned into one, fuckin rhino of death metal, which "Consuming Impulse" is. The production of the album is much better than the one on the previous LP and the music has much less thrashing influence. Of course there are still some of these twisted solos and riffs, that may remind you the previous album, but most part of "Consuming Impulse" is played in either faster or totally slower way, and is more brutal, obviously influenced by Death's "Leprosy" and other such LPs that were released at that time. The vocals of Martin van Drunen are what you'll recognise immediately – his growlings are very raspy and cruel, shrieking and angry as maniacal beast and this is why I think he's one of my favorite death metal vocalists - it's his original way of singing... He's one of the kind and no one sounds like him! And never will!
The album is nothing more, nothing less but a collection of excellent death metal songs, some of which belong to the best tracks Pestilence has composed. I already mentioned "Dehydrated" and "The Process of Suffocation", which are excellent pieces. There's also "Chronic Infection", which actually sounds very similar to the songs from the first LP and my personal favorite, "Out of the Body" - wonderfully brutal, intense and savage track, one which once heard will never be forgotten and which belongs to the best death metal songs in the history of death metal. Its opening, main riff is just brilliant, so damn catchy and infectious... This is the reason why I love this kind of traditional death metal - because it has memorable, dark and brutal riffs while this technical modern shit is usually erased from my head once I stop listening to it.
But that's not everything, every bit of this album is great, like "Suspended Animation" with its great slow part in the middle of the song, where the keyboards (!!! yes!!!) wonderfully underline its emotional, dark atmosphere. Or "Echoes of Death", which is very similar to "Dehydrated", but it also has some keyboards in one fragment... Yeah, this is pure death metal, but I think it already has that experimental edge. Anyway, I could easily list here the entire album, so great and even this LP is ("Deify Thy Master", another killer slab, with great chorus part!) and truly I think Pestilence was in their prime form then and if it wasn't for the fact that "Testimony of the Ancients" is so perfect, this would definitely be my favorite Pestilence album... But it's not he, he, but it's not far from their 1991's masterpiece.
If there's anything I don't like about "Consuming Impulse" it's probably the artwork; I really don’t like this cover hehe!
Standout tracks: "Out of the Body", "Dehydrated", "The Process of Suffocation"
Pestilence had impressed people with their very worthy thrash album "Malleus Maleficarum". But it wasn't until 1989 that this band would create a monster of a death metal album. The band would obviously go on and wow people with there classic album Testimony of The Ancients. Which I rate highly and love the record. But this is easily my favorite Pestilence album and easily in the top five greatest albums of its genre.
Pestilence set the standard and raised the bar to heights other bands would strive to reach throughout the explosion of death metal that would occur from 1989 through to 1993. Much like their brothers Death and Morbid Angel Pestilence came out with their own style and took the death metal scene by storm.
The guitar tone is just the heaviest fucking shit on the planet. The riff work is unmatched and the solos are varied between the two guitar players. You have the standard shredding fast guitar solos, whammy abuse and sometimes slow, melodic lead lines when the songs tempo's change. The album holds your attention throughout with varied songwriting which is cool. Because some death metal albums do fail to keep your attention from start to finish. You have brutal and speedy numbers such as the opener Dehydrated and Suspended Animation. But you also have numbers which are more mid paced and moody. Although that been said the songs do have progressive touches in terms of structure. Swapping in tempo's and crushing you with a nice amount of riffs on offer. The band don't just throw riff after riff after riff and don't revisit them stupidly. In terms of riff work the guitarists are extremely clever and deliver an onslaught off well played thrash infused death metal riffs. One example in "The Process of Suffocation" the verse riff with its intricate chugging riff with the single note tags on the end. Which is also extremely catchy. The second time the riff is played the band variate the tag the second time round just the one time. With a clever drum change which creates a very unnerving feel. This is an example of the ingenious creativity on offer here.
Lets not forget the beyond unreal vocal work of Martin Van Drunen, which he basically uses the music on the album to declare his insanity to the world. Giving character and depth to death metal vocals. Even though I love his work in Asphyx I feel he would never put down a performance as amazing as this one. Lastly the drum work is superb creatively mixing up patterns and double kick variations. The bass is audible enough and gives that punch adding a good low end to the riffs.
Its quiet hard to put into words how amazing this record really is. Its very hard to choose highlights but for the sake of the review it would have to be. "The Process Of Suffocation" with perhaps the most thrashy and intense riffs on offer here, with some cool changes of tempo and the clever riff work described earlier in the review. "The Trauma" with the most haunting and menacing riffs on the record, building in tempo from the intro, the lyrics add to the horrific atmosphere on this song with an awesome use of voice over in the mid section. "Out Of The Body" with its instantly memorable intro the riff then drum fill. This has some of my favorite faster tempo riffs. It also sports a quality slow paced mid section before coming back to full tempo, I admire the structure of the song a lot.
The album will have you locked up in your room. In the dark rolling in your own sick and eating your own excrement in a mad frenzy ensued from the sheer insanity displayed on this record. Unmatched and on the same level as Morbid Angel's "Altars of Madness" record, Death's "Leprosy" and Dismember "Like An Ever Flowing Stream".
Ah, the spoils of youth. Friday nights as a teen. The unceremonious dumping at the local mall by my family, to walk around in endless loops and socialize with about half my high school, who were there at any given time. When lucky, I was able to bring a friend, or join him when his own family performed a similar ritual. Most of the metal heads were in attendance on the weekend, so it was hardly a death sentence, and there was almost always someone to talk to, but the real attraction was a chance to spend some of that paper route profit, or weekly allowance, on a new metal album. My friend and I would scan the shelves and bins intently, awaiting any new arrival.
The format of choice: cassette. CDs were a blip on our radar that had not yet overtaken our lives, and vinyl was simply a liability for afternoons of skateboarding or shooting hoops. We discovered a great many gems in those years, but more often we would grab legit albums we had gotten the chance to preview (and record) from the local college metal radio show, or through tape trading with friends at school. We scored and scoured Coroner albums. Deathrow. Sodom and Kreator. Tankard and Destruction. Dark Angel and Heretic. It was like an endless beer-bong of inspiration being fed directly to our throbbing brains, eager to ingest all of the information, process it into headbanging release, and then bring it to school, to enlighten our friends and peers, whose idea of 'underground' at that time was Slayer and Testament. We threw around the 'P' word far too often. We were pricks about it. But everyone was.
One rainy Friday, just after Christmas, I found this cassette on the shelf at Record Town.
Now, death metal was not necessarily a new thing to me. I had owned a few Death cassettes, one of which I completely adored (Leprosy). I had also become familiar with bands like Possessed, Carcass, Sepultura and Autopsy, who more or less filled that mold. Earlier in that very same year, I had purchased Slowly We Rot, which had initially scared the fuck out of me, but I had come to enjoy it. In fact, Pestilence was not a new thing to me, as I had a tape copy of Mallevs Maleficarvm which I had been absorbed in for some time. Needless to say, this was going to be allowance well spent. On the ride home, before I could listen to the album, I perused the liner notes of the cassette.
I wondered at its cover art, which it turns out was never the band's intention, but a rushed record label decision that has become iconic regardless. I still use it as the back patch on my denim jacket, after salvaging it from an old t-shirt that no longer fit. I wondered at the blue staff-line images woven behind the lyrics. The band had a new guitar player, Patrick Uterwijk, which I didn't realize at the time. The band had also gone to Harris Johns to produce this disc. If you don't know Harris Johns, well, the man is amazing. He was responsible for numerous classics by Helloween, Tankard, Voivod, Sodom, Coroner and Kreator. All top shelf bands, and all albums with a timeless, if raw sound to them. Yes, all the cards seemed to stack in the favor of Pestilence, and I couldn't wait to get back to my home stereo.
You can probably guess the rest. Consuming Impulse is my favorite death metal album. Ever. It succeeds where so many have not, in concocting the absolute perfect blend of eerie, morbid atmospheres, brutal and irresistible riffs (still very much cognizant of the band's thrashing foundation), and the most amazing performance by Martin Van Drunen on any album of his career, taking the same tortured path as the debut album but cranking it up so far that it sounds like a man literally ON FIRE or dying by some other means as he is forced to vomit into the studio microphone. Like it's predecessor, Consuming Impulse is a flawless, intelligent exercise that jackhammers straight into the memory. The riffs are more than mere barbarism, more than the dream-stuff of neanderthals, but melodic, twisted expressions that haunt and harrow, fully supportive of the dire and hopeless lyrical passages.
Say what you will about Patrick Mameli and the various statements he has made throughout the years. About his tireless quest to continuously evolve this band, seemingly malcontent with each previous work. What he wrote on this album is true proof of a muse tethered to the man's spine. Not some angelic muse bearing a lyre, but a leering, inhuman fiend with scalpels for fingers and formaldehyde for blood. The RIFFs, for fucks sake.
"Dehydrated" opens in a grinding salvo of brutal vocals and flesh churning guitars, and through the phrasing of the guitars, one can feel those last minute, desperate attempts by the mind to reckon with the body's environment before all moisture is finally drained to leave the barren husk. The bridge is laden with a slow building momentum as Van Drunen's heavy breathing morphs back into his blood-soaked intonations. Congratulations, you have just had your skull kicked in for the first of nine times on this album. "The Process of Suffocation" continues, with yet another variation on how to lose your breath, delivered through seamless, brutal thrash that balances a bevy of bombastic chords with a taunting, two-note melody. The solo here is entirely off the hook, bringing back the best of Slayer's sporadic style, while the grinding bridge and closing thrash hook have more meat to them than a Super Bowl tailgate party. "Suspended Animation" continues, with a glorious, melodic depth to its surging verse, and an amazing breakdown at 1:40 where the guitars retch and writhe like serpentine assassins, and an angelic choir-like synthesizer cuts through the mist of decay, before a thrashing climax ensues with more insane leads carving incisions upon the listener's cerebral cortex.
Yeah. It's not through with you yet. "The Trauma" is one of the most terrifying death metal arrangements ever, with carefully affected drum swells behind the sparse verse vocals, soon transforming into a huge groove and continuing to gain momentum until the brilliant chorus, in which a laconic sounding voice is countered by Martin Van Drunen howling 'Trauma', shadowed by the creepy chords. "Chronic Infection" is a raucous display of how a groove in death metal, when properly manifested, can lay waste to entire cities like a nuclear storm. Notice how the vocals are almost 'rap-like' here, and yet incredibly incendiary before the chimes arrive over the very doomed rhythm at 1:05, and Van Drunen's growl echoes into oblivion. There is sick, and then there is SICK. This goes beyond that, to TERMINAL. And then the band brings its mosh favorite, "Out of the Body", with the intense and desperate melodic bridge riffing and the cycling, unforgettable bludgeon of the main verse riff. Just try and sit or stand still to this. And that riff around 1:45? Forget it.
I admit that I originally found the final 'third' of this album to be less standout than the rest, but time and wisdom have slowly slaked the stupid out of me, and you'll find it is no less impressive. "Echoes of Death" creates an astounding force behind the simple splash of chords across the vocals in the verse, and then the grimy thrashing begins, with another screaming synthesizer line that leads into the next verse. "Deify Thy Master" is nearly as frightening as "The Trauma", with a similar wah wah effect over its bleeding intro chords while the rhythm guitar rolls alongside it like a juggernaut of festered flesh. The breakdown/chorus is once again incredible, and shows us once more just how effective death metal can be when you don't forsake the actual songwriting for brutality alone. Also of note, the killer, clinical slowdown thrash at 1:30. Instrumental "Proliferous Souls" offers you a brief, 2 minute pause to 'relax' while the organs shimmer and the guitars wank off slowly before the final, crushing weight of "Reduced to Ashes" arrives, through some of the most powerfully chugged chords I have ever heard on an album. The rest: pure, forceful heretic incinerating violence.
Nostalgia can only partially color my feelings for this album, for it exists on a pedestal of craft and brutality that I simply do not hear anymore. And believe me, I've been listening. I listen to all I can. I've been waiting 20+ years for something to come along and knock this titan off its rocker. I've heard the arguments for Morbid Angel, Death, Autopsy, Immolation, Vader, and countless others, but there are single songs on this album I enjoy more than the sum of certain of those bands' entire careers, and I say that after hearing this a thousand times or more, at a point where I should be far beyond bored with it. Consuming Impulse is by no means the only flawless death metal effort by my own standards of rating albums. I venerate Left Hand Path, Realm of Chaos, Leprosy, and many more. But if it came down to the wire and I was told I could take a single death metal record into the afterlife, or to a desert island somewhere, this would be the one I grab, without hesitation. I probably have not done this album justice. But I'm happy to have tried.
Highlights: The mall where I bought the album closed long ago, first converted into an ice skating rink, and now a new shopping plaza with a Starbucks and Borders. Bright women and caramel macchiatos are a plus, but this album is a ++.
In the era when death metal was climbing towards its creative plateau, Pestilence was without doubt a band that accomplished a lot within the genre. Each album evolved from the last, changing elements but still sounding logical in its growth. At the very end of the 80s, Pestilence released their second, and best, album.
There is a lot about this album to love. Pounding, memorable riffs flow together in dynamic juxtaposition creating coherent song structures that really make each song stand out. The riffs contain a lot of variation in terms of strum patterns, trem picking, thrash riffs, just all sorts of ideas. While it never gets overly technical or out of place, it's obvious Pestilence had a sense of balance between dynamics, hooks, and harsh metal. Every song on here has a lot of memorable parts, an achievement that makes a metal album worth hearing again and again.
Just listening to the first track should be enough to convince anyone that this album is a gem. It sounds somewhere in between thrash and death metal. There's no blast beats, it's mostly quick beats that sound influenced from their early American counterparts. The riffs are obviously death metal, and everything mixes so well. Martin Van Drunen's vocals also make this a classic record, with his dry, throaty growl. You can tell from listening to albums that came out after that bands were influenced by the vocal performance on this record.
The production here is perfect for death metal. The guitars have a lot of balls and sound heavy, the bass is at an effective volume and sounds thick, and the drums sound nice and have a good thump. It definitely suits the abrasive textures of Pestilence.
Did I mention this record has awesome guitar solos? The team of Patrick's just really let it rip on here, showing that they each have some damn fine shredding ability. They're fast, but played with the right kind of feel so they sound coherent. Several tracks here feature trade offs over speedy riffs, and it proves to be effective. They also avoid overdoing it and only throw it in when appropriate.
When you combine memorable riffs, clever arrangements, and pure death metal conviction, that creates a classic album. Pestilence certainly achieved that here, as every song on here is classic. If you consider yourself a fan of early 90s death metal, this album is everything you're looking for.
Pestilence played blistering, vital death metal for one album only. This is a bracing, poisonous record, mixing the uncontrollable extreme thrash of 'Reign in Blood' with the detuned pummelling of 'Scream Bloody Gore'. Deranged screams of audible agony bellow out macabre portraits of death, whilst maniacal, torturous leads are threaded through punishing hypnotic rhythms.
Foremost, this is an intense, frightening experience to numb the senses, but it also possesses surprising subtlety. 'Consuming Impulse' is actually far more progressive than the overly calculated 'Testimony of the Ancients'. The songs here are dense, complex, and make creative use of keyboards and effects; the break in 'The Trauma' showing a clear precursor to Norwegian black metal. Of course, it is also far more entertaining; 'Out of the Body' is utterly incredible. Four and a half minutes of unrestrained chaos, a string of devastating riffs and solos, with lyrics matching the harrowing cover art.
The production is perfect; clear but tough and jagged, perfectly capturing the band's old school thrashing fury inside a barrage of newfound death metal heaviness. This gives it a harsh feel that sets it apart from the muddier sounds of their Florida contemporaries. `Consuming Impulse' is more relentless than 'Leprosy', more intricate than 'Deicide', more consistent than 'Slowly We Rot' and more fun than 'Altars of Madness'. If Pestilence had been from Florida, this would be in your collection already.
This band is a true legend in the death metal scene. While Possessed and Death had the death metal dominion on the U.S.A. territory, in Europe (more exactly in Holland) this band was releasing great extreme metal efforts. After the raw, but awesome, death/thrash debut “Malleus Maleficarum”, they returned with this fucking great album. One of the most important Pestilence’s characteristics is the originality in a music genre so often stuck in the same mud.
Since the debut their music style combines the classic death/thrash assault to more progressive influences in embryonic form ‘till 1990. In their first two albums the progressive influences can be found only in few riffs while, as the time passed by, those influences grew ‘till reaching the top in “Spheres” album with also keyboards sound.
Let’s return to this album. The opener is the classic death metal assault made of furious riffs and the obsessed march of a true violent drums. Van Drunen's vocals are damn evil, almost suffocated in their distortion. This song features slow parts, with dissonant-heavy as fuck guitars, up tempo, more progressive guitars lines and good solos. An iconoclast punk fury can be found in the main riff of “The Process Of Suffocation” song. The up tempo sections are always well balance with true rotten mid paced riffs. “Suspended Animation” is a true pleasure for my ears. Again the riffs are incredibly violent and with a punk attitude.
“Trauma” is the perfect example to describe the dissonant guitar work: the tempos are always changing, from gloomy mid paced riffs, to up tempo. The refrain is something fantastic: fast bass drum on a field of strange wah-wah distortions and suffered vocals. “Chronic Infection” is lethal with the drums intro and the up tempo, followed by doomy, progressive riffs. The group’s fury seems never ending and even the most strange parts are always brutal.
The riffs on “Out Of the Body” are something to die for while the torrential wah-wah solos on “Echoes Of Death” are always stuck in my head. The odd guitar sound on “Deify Thy Master” is perfect with a more violent rhythmic session. The most progressive parts are always well filtrated through a non common brutality, so don’t expect to listen to a Dream Theatre album! This is DEATH METAL. The only acoustic song, “Proliferous Souls” is truly gloom, and seems to come out from another world. The atrocities of the Church bring us back in time with “Reduced To Ashes” song: pure brutality.
This is a great album by a band so often unfairly overlooked, made of true good musicians that always had the courage to create something new in their sound. All my respect for them. Check this out!
In an age when blast speed drums were still mostly used by grindcore acts and some pioneers such as Morbid Angel) and now classic bands such as Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation, Deicide (etcetera!) were still tiny demo acts, Dutch masters Pestilence released one of the best old school Dutch death metal classics ever to be unleashed upon mankind, only equalled by Gorefest’s ‘False’ album.
Whereas their debut album ‘Maleus Maleficarum’ had some hints of thrash metal, this was gone on ‘Consuming Impulse’ although the uptempo polka beat was still of course very much present . The production was heavy yet remarkably transparent. The riffs of Patrick Mameli on ‘Consuming Impulse’ are simply mind-blowing. Even though quite simple at times they still prove extremely deadly. Try the main riffs in the verses of ‘Process of Suffocation’ and ‘The Trauma’ for starters. Speed monsters like ‘Dehydrated’ and ‘Reduced To Ashes’ were simple compositions but the intensity of this material just oozes out of your speakers. The presence of these straight forward raging death metal tracks was perfect to balance the dynamics and variety of the album.
Songs such as ‘Chronic Infection’ and the classic ‘Out Of The Body’ incorporated some great interacting differentiating guitars and much more diversity in pace and riffing. On the entire album the leads and solo’s of both Mameli and Utterwijk were perfectly written to serve the compositions, incorporating technique and aggression or atmosphere when needed. Even at this stage in their career -when listening closer to the chorus of ‘The Trauma’ for example- one could already hear hints of what later would become their jazzy riffing on the ‘Spheres’ album. On top of that, let’s not forget the vile, dirty and understandable vocals of Martin van Drunen which were the icing on the cake.
The album had everything a 1989 death metal fan could ask for. Speed, diversity, catchy tunes and riffs one could also enjoy humming or playing along. Apart from the sheer quality of this album, it also proved to be one of the most important and influential early Dutch death metal albums. Lots of Dutch bands have tried but none have ever achieved getting close to the grandeur of Pestilence except for Gorefest in their glorious period a few years later. Only reason not to give this album 100% points was the poor album cover.
Pestilence's Consuming Impulse is a very cool death metal record because it is very old school and quite different than the stuff they released afterwards. Whereas they went on to create a more progressive sound with albums such as Testimony of the Ancients and Spheres, Consuming Impulse is straight death metal with no holds barred.
The guitar tandem of the Patricks mameli and Uterwijk is super tight, with blazing riffs and ferocious leads that are just brutal and very reminiscent of early death metal. The vocals are very low and guttural on this record, something that would also eventually change in the band's sound.
This album is a short fun and often catchy batch of songs to listen to. The production isn't fantastic, but it fits the sound perfectly.
All of the songs are pretty kickass, although I would have to say the album opener "Dehydrated" as well as "Suspended Animation" are my particular favorites. This album is interesting because it caught a particular piece of time in the band's history that made an album unique within its own discography.
This is definitely something worth checking out if you like your classic death metal.
Consuming Impulse is one intense album. I'd say this album is definitely up there with classic death metal albums such as Death's Leprosy, Obituary's Slowly We Rot, and Morbid Angel's Altars of Madness. All of these albums were released in 1988 or 1989. This album is as raw as Scream Bloody Gore. Every song on here is consistent. Nothing really to gripe about on this album if you're a fan of old school death metal.
This album opens with Dehydrated. It reminds me of Slayer from Reign in Blood and maybe something off of Death's first two albums. Pestilence was definitely influenced by bands like Slayer, Death, and many others I can't think of at the moment. The real highlights of this album are The Trauma, Echoes of Death, and Reduced to Ashes. All of these songs are violent sounding with great riffing from Patrick Mameli and Patrick Uterwijk. They play the kind of solos that Slayer is known for. That is another notable Slayer influence, the solos. The drumming is pretty good and sounds very similar to the drumming on Death's SBG.
Martin Van Drunen does a great job handling vocals. He sounds really sick and derranged on this album. This would be the last album with him on vocals. Patrick Mameli would later take his place on Testimony of the Ancients and Spheres. Van Drunen also played bass on this. The bass is just about inaudible and mixed poorly.
Pestilence definitely improved on this effort. Like with Death, they released their debut album and then improved on their sophomore effort. Though, I think Pestilence vastly improved on this album. If you're into early Death, Morbid Angel, and Obituary. This is a good album to get. After this album, Pestilence's sound radically changes. If you didn't like their later albums with Patrick Mameli handling vocal duties, you'll most likely like Consuming Impulse.
Here is a late 80s death metal album on par with the debuts of Morbid Angel, Deicide and Obituary. Yet Pestilence are often never thought of as much when thinking about the pick of the crop as far as this style goes. It has a lot of the best elements that made this such an exciting time for death metal but also stands apart from the rest with its own personality and intent. That being also something which death metal was very good at during this time, you could not confuse this band with any other and vice versa.
Dank and murky in its crushing brutality and general focus but also fast and furious together with the shrieking lead work contrasting with interspersed melodic sections and enticing breaks moving through each song. Taken at face value, there is an air of rigid consistency to this but there are a few deviations from the effective formula here, even though it may seem to imply the record is headed down the path of a great start leading onwards toward a stale ending where each song is no different than the next. After sinking in this album does none of that with an alarming catchiness embedded in all the uncompromising and complex playing. There are riffs here easy to pick out and parts that are quick to be anticipated. It breaks up briefly into predominantely lead guitar piece "Proliferous Souls" which still manages to capture that feel they've made at home so far but in a more subtle and morose manner. The haunting rhythm guitar and various effects only add to this interesting track.
Not nearly as technically minded and progressive as its follow up, "Testimony of the Ancients", but there is still a professional finish to this album. There are moments of experimentation that give a hint of future direction, and the inability to keep them stuck to one set of ideas all the way through. Atmosphere is even attempted within songs to proper effect, slackening off the speed and amplifying the deathly sense that is felt through each devastating track. Martin Van Drunen however, builds the foundations of that feel more than anything else with his guttural roars easily rivalling the most vocally destructive personalities at the time. This album has recently been reissued and is paired with the more refined "Testimony of the Ancients", two that are comparable but definitely contrast noticeably. Any fan of the late 80s/early 90s death metal scene should take heed of my high recommendation of this, and the second album in the set.
"GET THEM OUT OF MY BODY!"
Fuck, this was more than slightly disturbing on first listen all those years ago! Such was the anguish and pain in Martin Van Drunen's voice as he squeezed out these strangled words; it was almost possible to believe there was a colony of er… cockroaches or maggots living inside him. It put the shits up me anyway!
In 'Consuming Impulse', Pestilence created their greatest, most complete album, successfully marrying the primitive brutality of their previous effort 'Maleus Maleficarum' with the technicality of their later releases.
While this was Pestilence's second album, the band was still constantly learning about dynamics and how to play their instruments. This album predates the blast beat cliché, but Pestilence could hit the turbocharger when needed, judiciously using faster passages, accenting the mid–paced sections. This was incredibly heavy for it's time, as guitarists Patrick Mameli and Patrick Uterwijk (classy first names there!) had developed a technique playing in tandem where they would let a chord ring on at the end of a riff, creating some chunky harmonics as the guitar sounds merged. Not being a musician, I don't know if this is a technically accurate description of what they were doing, but as a Death Metal fan, I do know it makes your ring piece tingle!
Lyrically, Pestilence showed a good grasp of English for a Dutch band, but a lack of imagination in subject matter. They fell back on the trusty old faithfuls of gore, God, and doing nasty things to people. The previously mentioned "Out Of The Body" and lead off track "Dehydration" are probably the most convincingly executed. The instrumental "Proliferous Souls" is unusual in that it is not the normal acoustic guitar mood piece, instead staying fully electric and conjuring up images of spirits drifting in the wind across the landscape in search of a final resting place.
Martin Van Drunen later left the band to front the far less complex Asphyx, while Pestilence took the space cadet/ultra technical jazz/prog direction. This is both Pestilence and Van Drunen at their best.
Just about anyways.
Crushing, Aggressive, Abrasive, Pounding, Bone Crunching...
All these words and more can be used to describe Pestilence's second album, Consuming Impulse, not that I had to mention what the title was. This is an album that grabs you right from the beginning and proceeds to bludgeon your body from start to just about finish. Dehydrated kicks the album off with what is one of the fastest, heaviest riffs on the album, from that point on, you'll be treated to crushing riff after crushing riff, wah fueled solos, throat tearing screams, growls, and pounding drums(but no blast beats) right to the end, save for track 9, 'Proliferous Souls', a 2:07 track where Patrick Mameli shows off a little of his guitar ability over some ambient 'wind' sounds. Take it as a breather, you'll probably need it by then. The largest noticeable difference anyone who had heard 'Mallevs Maleficarvm' will hear is the vocals. Martin Van Drunen changed his style completely for this album. On Mallevs, he had more of a typical thrash voice, nothing spectacular, but suiting, then with this album he decided to growl and scream like no other. Very abrasive, yet still understandable. He still ranks as one of the highest in this vocal style for me and many others.
To sum this short review up, if you call yourself a death metal fan, you either own this album, or you will buy it. If you like to headbang, you either own this album, or you will buy it. If you like metal, you either own this album, or you will buy it. No if's and's or but's.
Highlights: The entire album.
This, for me, is one of the best Death Metal albums released. Pestilence really bumped up the aggression on this album, just enough so that it made a difference. Their debut was a strong one, but this one really ripped and tore but hard. And no blast beats in sight, this was all old school heads down brutality with drums in the realm of human possibility (Marco Foddis turning in an outstanding performance) that can still crush your head down in between your shoulder blades like a piledriver. The production was excellent for the time as well, handled (like every other Euro thrash release back then) by Harris Johns and it maintains a Colin Richardson-like level of clarity with crisp D-tuned guitars and cracking drums.
The songs all feature dynamic arrangements with expert navigation between tempos on all parties, and both "The Process Of Suffocation" and "Out Of The Body" are especially sinister, as well as opener "Dehydrated". Martin van Drunen's vocals really improved on this album too--he sounds like he's being stabbed to death! Patrick Mameli and new boy Patrick Uterwijk trade off scalding, wah wah-soaked solos with ease, alternating wailing atonality with surprising amounts of melody (the instrumental "Proliferous Souls" is a great and chilling example of how the two concepts can interact well and without problems), and altogether the leads are very reminiscent of the late, great Chuck Schuldiner (RIP). "The Trauma" features some especially wrenching, hair-raising screams on the chorus from van Drunen alternating with spoken word parts ("Nightmares controlling my life/TRAUMAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!"). Get this one, it is an essential addition to one's Death Metal collection that shows where the modern sound came from in terms of spirit and style.
Many people seem to regard this as classic. I must say I'm somewhat at a loss as to why. Though I enjoy every other album this band has released, particularly the debut,"maleus malificarum", this,their second, seems to be quite a step downwards in quality. Whereas the debut is probably classifiable as thrash metal, "consuming Impulse" leads me to think the band was going for a more modern, death metal approach this time around.Fundamentally, there's nothing wrong with such a change in sound, but Pestilence seems to have forgotten everything that made their first album so memorable...riffs, powerful and dark. It seems Patrick Mamelli was never too content with the music he played in the metal genre....since no two Pestilence albums are alike and the band was unceremoniously put to rest two albums after this one, having been slagged by just about everyone in the metal press and Mamelli having gone off on many long winded rants about how much he hated metal and it's fans.But anyway, I digress.The problem with "Consuming Impulse" is that it drags.My attention usually begins to wander around track five or six, at which point I find myself itching to throw on something really great like "maleus maleficarum". The songs are mostly interchangeable, although some are actually somewhat memorable,and the riffs,though unusual in their approach, quickly fade into a blur of similarity. The dry, sterile production doesn't really help matters either. The vocals are allright: hoarse shouting half-growls that ocasionally reach into the hysterical territory (VanDrunin's trademark), but they really can't save this. Best tracks are probably "Chronic Infection", and "The Process of SUffocation", with its odd single note keyboard refrain in the chorus. As mentioned previously, the riffs do have a certain novelty to them...possessing a certain unpredictable pattern that makes it seem as if they were written upside-down. Someone once I think used a similar phrase to describe Adramelech's debut album, and, like that reviewer, I can think of no other way to really describe why these riffs are odd. nevertheless, they can't save this album from the boredom it ultimately generates. Good for about half its length, which really does not signify much as it's damn short as it is.