Pestilence - Chronicles of the Scourge

Production: Airy and then muddy live sound, but discernible music.

Review: For those who appreciate the lure of classic-period Pestilence, making music halfway between the proto-death of Destruction and the upcoming technical death metal of Morbid Angel, this live album provides a delicious insight into both songs in progress and what the experience of a Pestilence concert might have been. With two shows, from 1988 and the following year, in reverse chronological order, this CD presents an opportunity to study this essential Dutch band in their formative habitat.

The difficulties of executing technically involved material in the havoc of a club run too often by disinterested, incompetent and/or intoxicated staff remain underrated by those who have not experienced what it was, in the early days of death metal and in the small clubs that would support it. True to form, this live capture of two Pestilence shows gives insight into the evolution of songs from their first two works, if one is willing to filter through the noise. The 1988 show is a muddied, louder recording, but the 1989 show possesses reasonable clarity. Starting with an introduction played much as a neoclassical heavy metal band might have, the band then tears into classics from both Consuming Impulse and Malleus Maleficarum; the earlier show, second on the disc, consists entirely of songs from the former.


1. City of the Living Dead / Antropomorphia
2. Parricide
3. Echoes of Death Heavy metal, death metal, speed metal, doom metal, grindcore or thrash mp3 sample
4. Subordinate to the Domination
5. Commandments
6. Out of the Body
7. Chemotherapy
8. Cycle of Existence
9. Suspended Animation
10. The Trauma
11. Antropomorphia
12. Parricide
13. Subordinate to the Domination
14. Cycle of Existence
15. Extreme Unction Heavy metal, death metal, speed metal, doom metal, grindcore or thrash mp3 sample
16. Chemotherapy
17. Bacterial Surgery
18. Systematic Instruction
19. Consuming Impulse Heavy metal, death metal, speed metal, doom metal, grindcore or thrash mp3 sample

Length: 78:12

Pestilence - Chronicles of the Scourge: Death Metal 2006 Pestilence

Copyright © 2006 Unofficial

As with many death metal albums, rhythms are less precise than in the studio, which is to the advantage of these riffs which take on a rushing malevolent quality like early Slayer, where lead guitars and rhythm leads are less steady on the chronologically second recording. Both recordings showcase a thicker sound than the more sterile studio productions, showing how this band could compete with overseas acts in terms of the amorphous assessment of "heaviness." While the second show exhibits a young band attempting to master their most ambitious works to date, sometimes barely in tune and unsteady in the playing of leads and fills, the first show demonstrates the raw confidence and energy of some musicians who want to subjugate the world with pure sound. Songs are mostly in finished form; expect slight revelations in how these songs grew from fundamentals to wholes, but for those fascinated with this period in death metal history, this CD is a welcome treat.