Review Summary: Warning, due to the graphic nature of this program, listener discretion is advised resulting in increasing chances of.... Parricide!
Death/Thrash is a wide genre that follows many different directions, some pathetic, some relentless, some mind-blowing, and some devastate your neck so violently that you wish your love for death/thrash metal would dissipate, allowing you to finally stop sadistically punishing your neck. Pestilence is far from an exception to either of these rules, minus being pathetic. Malleus Maleficarum takes you on a stunning route across all sorts of violent, yet-devious landscapes. In a drunken stupor, Pestilence is magnificent at bringing out the inner evils in even the most relaxed metal-head. Just one year behind the also killer Consuming Impulse
album in 1989, 1988’s Malleus Maleficarum excels and prospers even amidst the incredible late-80’s thrash movement.
Upon first listening to this album, prepare for an absolute thrash metal onslaught as the first thirteen minutes and fifty seconds of this album are some of the most vile in thrash metal history. Creating an inhumane balance between thrash and technicality, Pestilence's underground effort shouldn’t be taken with a grain of salt. However, as with most death/thrash albums, the constant assault can prove to be a bit off-putting. Throughout the excellence of Malleus, one may find themselves overwhelmed. Even though this is the objective of the genre, Pestilence shows some effort in trying to create an equilibrium, every song on the album attempts to put forth an easily accessible sound that both thrashes, and creates a hook for the listener. A perfect example is Parricide, a pinnacle of death/thrash songwriting, enough to get even the least avid thrash metal listener to headbang and chant along.
Malleus Maleficarum has audible bass throughout, and audacious flying solos that even make most guitarist in the genre look novice. The same cannot be said about the drumming, and not quite the bass, but Pestilence aimed in their direction and hit the spot dead-on. Releasing one of the best death/thrash metal albums of all-time.