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Pestilence is a death metal band from the Netherlands founded in 1986. After disbanding in order to pursue other musical directions in 1994, Pestilence reunited in 2008, and was put on a "permanent hold" in July 2014. However, the band reunited once again in October 2016. To date, the band has released eight studio albums.
Early career (1986–1990)
Pestilence started in the Netherlands in the mid 1986 as a thrash metal band. The lineup, consisting of Patrick Mameli (guitar, vocals), Randy Meinhard (guitar), and Marco Foddis (drums), recorded two demos before gaining the attention of Roadrunner Records. After the first demo, Martin van Drunen (bass, vocals) joined them. These two demos – Dysentery (1987) and The Penance (1987) – are raw, sounding mostly like a cross between Possessed and Schizophrenia-era Sepultura. After signing with Roadrunner, Pestilence released their debut album, Malleus Maleficarum, in 1988, further refining their approach to thrash metal. The new material was tighter and more focused than the demos. It set a new standard of brutality and became a definition of European death/thrash metal.
Meanwhile, Pestilence recruited a new guitar player, Patrick Uterwijk. In 1989, the band released their second album, Consuming Impulse, a turn toward death metal. Musically, things became heavier and more haunting. Vocally, Martin van Drunen moved away from cleaner vocals in favour of a more acidic growl. With its release, Pestilence gained international attention, and became highly regarded worldwide by death metal fans. But before a follow-up album was released, the lineup changed once again; vocalist and bassist Martin van Drunen departed to front Asphyx.
Success and breakthrough (1991–1994)
Pestilence were faced with the challenge of replacing another member once again, being now without a vocalist and bassist. For their third album Testimony of the Ancients, they enlisted bassist Tony Choy from death metal band Cynic while Patrick Mameli took over the vocal duties. A more technical and progressive approach, Testimony of the Ancients co-defined early progressive death metal alongside Piece of Time and Human musical and lyrical-wise, with "Land Of Tears" getting heavy rotation on Headbangers Ball worldwide.
However, Tony Choy was never a permanent member, and ended up going back to Florida to eventually play with Atheist. In the meantime, Pestilence enlisted the talents of Jeroen Paul Thesseling.
Over the years, Pestilence members were getting into other forms of music, primarily jazz fusion. The band's fourth album, Spheres was an even more complex affair, mixing jazz elements into their death metal style while also incorporating guitar synths throughout the album.
Pestilence's popularity had risen with the release of each album, but unfortunately, so did tensions between the members. After a short period of time, the band unanimously decided to split up, feeling they had reached their creative climax.
In 1994, Roadrunner released one last CD from Pestilence: a best-of titled Mind Reflections, containing tracks from all four albums, plus the rare song "Hatred Within" (originally released on the Teutonic Invasion Part II compilation) and six unreleased live tracks recorded in at the Dynamo Open Air Festival in 1992. In 1998, Displeased Records re-released the debut album Malleus Maleficarum (which was originally never officially released in Europe), and included both demo recordings from 1986 and 1987.
In 2006, Metal War Productions, working with Martin van Drunen, released Chronicles of the Scourge, containing two concert recordings and one unreleased bonus track. The two concerts are Live "Kix Festival" – Veghel, the Netherlands (June 24, 1989) and Live Bochum, Germany (November 18, 1988). A bonus "rehearsal disc" was released with the first 1000 copies.
First reunion (2008–2013)
A long period of inactivity ended in January 2008, when vocalist/guitarist Patrick Mameli told Blabbermouth.net that Pestilence were back. The reunion line-up consisted of Mameli on vocals and guitar, Tony Choy on bass and Peter Wildoer on drums. Speaking to Blabbermouth.net regarding his decision to resurrect the band, Mameli had this to say:
It's not a reunion, because I will not be playing with any of the old lineup guys, except Tony Choy, of course so... I always stated there WILL NEVER BE a reunion, and there won't be, since I never look back at the past and I refuse now to play with people that are not on the same musical level as I am.
I sang on Testimony and Spheres (two albums later from Consuming Impulse!!), so no need for Martin. This because of the above statement I just made. Furthermore, Martin is doing other things. Good for him.
So now you have two members that were in Pestilence before and one new guy.
The reason why I bring Pestilence back to life is that people/fans keep asking me for this. The time is right now and Mascot is giving me the opportunity to do so.
As you know, I have always been the driving force behind Pestilence, writing all the music and so forth, so that I can state: I will bring back Pestilence to life. More tech and way more brutal than ever before.
In 2008, Pestilence decided to write and record new music for an early 2009 release working with Danish producer Jacob Hansen. Titled Resurrection Macabre, it is their first original album in sixteen years (since 1993's Spheres). In March 2008 Patrick Uterwijk re-joined the band as second-guitarist, however he didn't play on Resurrection Macabre.
In October 2009, Jeroen Paul Thesseling re-joined Pestilence after fifteen years of separation from the band, replacing Tony Choy's bass position, a move that soon led to his departure from Obscura.
In March 2010, Pestilence announced their first US summer tour in over 16 years which would begin at Maryland Deathfest at Sonar on May 30.
The reformed Pestilence released another album entitled Doctrine in April 2011.
On February 22, 2012, Patrick Mameli announced that Jeroen Paul Thesseling and Yuma van Eekelen both left Pestilence, to commit more on their main projects, Thesseling's Nufutic, and van Eekelen's Exivious. Thesseling was replaced by Stephan Fimmers (Necrophagist), and van Eekelen was replaced by Tim Yeung (Morbid Angel, Divine Heresy, All That Remains, Hate Eternal). The new two members were also included in the recording session of the seventh Pestilence album, Obsideo.
Second breakup and reunion (2014–present)
On July 8, 2014, vocalist/guitarist Patrick Mameli announced that Pestilence was on a "permanent hold", as he wanted to "concentrate fully" on his new project Neuromorph.
On October 4, 2016, Pestilence announced on their Facebook page that they were once again active, and announced a new lineup, featuring Mameli on both guitar and vocals, Tony Choy on bass, Santiago Dobles on lead guitar and Septimiu Hărşan on drums.
Renowned Slovenian bassist Tilen Hudrap (Paradox, Testament (live), VR) joined the band in 2017 and recorded the bass for the upcoming studio album "Hadeon". The album will also feature a solo bass composition by Hudrap (entitled Subvisions), the first solo bass arrangement since Jeroen Paul Thesseling's "Phileas" on the 1993 album "Spheres".
On February 22 2017, the band announced via their Facebook page that a new album, titled Hadeon, was due to be released in 2017. The album's release date was later pushed back to 2018.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pestilence_(band)Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pestilence_(band)