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Not terrible, but very unrefined - 75%

Under A Funeral Moon, June 20th, 2016

This is going to be my second Pestilence review, with the first one being their second demo, The Penance. Make sense to you? Yeah, me either.

But - onto the music. The beginning of the first track, Against the Innocent, begins with about 53 seconds of intro. It's kinda just ambient sounds, nothing really impressive, and honestly, I could live without it.

This demo instantly strikes me as less refined, and really just... worse, than The Penance. The vocals are performed by Patrick Mameli on this, as opposed to Martin van Drunen. Honestly, the vocals are just sort of shouts, with an attempt at a higher scream here and there. They sound a lot more like grindcore vocals than thrash, which is musically what I think Pestilence were going for here.

The guitars are actually a positive here, they're fast and thrashy sounding, and the leads are actually pretty good. These songs are notably less complex than in Pestilence's later work, all being 4-something minutes long. The shift in pace is less present here. It's not altogether gone, the second track Delirical Life starts off with a sort of mid tempo riff and speeds up to near-grindcore speeds, but it's less present for sure. More of these tracks are just fast. Many things on this demo just scream grindcore to me, which isn't really bad, but it kind of comes across more as half-assed thrash with grindcore influence.

Another problem with this demo is the recording quality is noticeably worse than The Penance, especially in the area of the vocals. I can barely hear any bass at all, and in all honesty the vocal recordings just sound like shit. There's really no need for this to be so much rougher than the Penance, considering they both came out in the same year. The drums and guitars both sound good, however the drums are a little bit too loud, in my opinion.

So, there you have it. I believe this demo is worthy of 75%. It's not altogether terrible, but it has pretty noticeable flaws in it as well. Worth a listen to fans of Pestilence, but you're better off with listening to The Penance instead.

Great Riffs, Great Death/Thrash!! - 85%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, September 22nd, 2007

Wow! This is the very first Pestilence demo! This band is a legend in the death metal scene, but unfortunately they split-up too early. Anyway, the first demo is simply great. “Against The Innocent” song is incredibly heavy in its mid-paced beginning, while after a minute a great up tempo part begins. The main influences can be found in bands like early Slayer or Death. Patrick Mameli’s vocals are very influenced by Chuck ones, but a bit more in Venom style.

“Delirical Life” seems to come out directly from Scream Bloody Gore and this makes me very happy! Mid paced riffs and up tempo…pure violence!! More or less also the two tracks left, “Traitors Gate” and “Throne Of Death” (with a melodic, obscure, guitar intro) are the same brutal assault of fucking primitive death/thrash. The thing I loved the most are the riffs: there is a bunch of them! Pure, great riffage that makes me crazy!

This is a well played and quite well recorded demo that will make happy every death metal fan. It’s not easy to find out, not at all, but with the re-recorded album Malleus Maleficarum you can find it! At least listen to it.