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Early Pestilence - 83%

grain_silo, July 20th, 2011

Being a huge fan of Pestilence’s early works, I figured I’ll get the demos and see what they were like. I was very happy with what I was hearing.

The production isn’t bad considering it’s a demo. Better than a lot of demos that I’ve heard. The guitars are pretty heavy. The drums are pretty flat though pretty much no power behind them but it’s not that big of a deal. The bass is really quiet and pretty much inaudible.

“Before the Penance” has some pretty heavy guitar work here. It starts out pretty slow then explodes into the thrash similar to stuff off their first album. If you’re used to his vocals on “Consuming Impulse” you’re in for a treat here. They are nothing like those vocals. Much more thrash style of vocals. “Affectation” is straight forward thrash from beginning to end. With a very heavy thrash break and a nice solo.

This demo is essential to how Pestilence evolved into what they became on their later albums. Not really any traces of death metal on this demo. I personally prefer Pestilence with some death metal feel to it but they still did thrash very well.

Best tracks – All of them

Excellent demo - 80%

stonedjesus, May 21st, 2007

Most of these songs made it onto "Malleus Maleficarum" and may be discernable to those well acquainted with that particular album.

"The Penance" is a step up from their almost grindcore sounding "Dysentery" demo. This is thrash metal and very heavy thrash metal at that. I enjoy this demo enough to wonder why Pestilence didn't stick with the thrash metal side of things (Possessed, Sepultura) instead of picking up a distinct American death metal sound. The vocals here are a far cry from the Schuldiner sounding Malleus, with a more standard "gruff" thrash vocal. This music is excellent, almost more memorable and better arranged than their reincarnation on Malleus.

Recommended for the completist Pestilence fan and anyone obsessed with early Sepultura and Death/Thrash Metal in general.