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Pestilence > Consvming Impvlse > Reviews > we hope you die
Pestilence - Consvming Impvlse

Rising to the occasion - 89%

we hope you die, June 10th, 2024

The good ship Pestilence has once again been making the rounds on the local ragebait circuit. Older acts that seemingly exist solely to spite their legacy (usually at the behest of one remaining member living on reputational fumes) are hardly unique in metal, but Pestilence attract a uniquely visceral ire from long time fans.

What a time to once again dive back to the reasons people even care about this band in the first place. Having long neglected their first two albums for the sake of a deeper scrutiny of their early progressive era, I have since been correcting this error with some intensive sessions with ‘Consvming Impvlse’. The first thing to note is its place in the chronology of death metal. Pestilence arrived early enough that we can document the develop of death metal from the residual thrash influence from their early demos into ‘Mallevs Maleficarvm’, with 1989 marking – for all intents and purposes – the beginning of full blooded death metal, with Obituary, Morbid Angel, and Autopsy all throwing their hat in the ring with full length offerings.


Pestilence’s contribution in the form of ‘Consvming Impvlse’ is perhaps only contemporaneously matched by ‘Altars of Madness’ for its untroubled swagger. This is fully formed death metal in every sense of the word. The riffs take on angular provocations, weaving labyrinthine chromatic threads that upset the apple cart of linear thrash. The drums are perhaps the most notable vestige of the genre’s lineage, unfurling a pounding consistency of traditional rhythmic currents and evolved d-beats. But this only serves to further highlight just how disorientating and meandering the riffs were becoming, even as they were delivered in predictably quantifiable sequences.

The production itself lends the album a mechanical nihilism, as the DIY inheritance of thrash and punk gives way to the art of capturing a theatrical experience that goes beyond the immediacy of the musicians’ individual circumstances. Tracks like ‘Suspended Animation’ and ‘Echoes of Death’ echoing [sic] ‘Altars of Madness’ for their subtle use of synths. In this context it would be remiss not to mention van Drunen’s vocals, which, alongside John Tardy, bring to life that sense of occasion and higher purpose that– over and above compositional rudiments – would set death metal apart from what had come before.

Originally published at Hate Meditations