Back in 1986, in the small town of Enschede in the Netherlands, near the German border, a true metal phenomenon was born. More than three decades later, not only is PESTILENCE alive and well, but about to once again reaffirm its place in the extreme metal pantheon, with “Exitivm”, which is Latin for “total destruction.”
As controversial as he can be to some, nobody will ever deny the band’s undisputable driving force, Patrizio “Patrick” Mameli, and his constant ability to reinvent himself. Unlike most of the bands in the scene, PESTILENCE just keeps evolving. From the raging thrash leanings of their cult 1988 debut “Malleus Maleficarum” to the jazz-infused versatility of 1993’s “Spheres” or 2009’s “Resurrection Macabre” frontal assault, not to mention the fans’ favorite and Scott Burns-produced “Testimony Of The Ancients” from 1991, he never did the same record twice. No matter who playes with him on any PESTILENCE album, Mameli always gets the best out of the musicians he is working with. But first and foremost, the man has a one-of-a-kind vision, instantly recognizable style and yet always stretching musical boundaries. And it’s never more true than on “Exitivm”.
After a vast reissue campaign in between 2015 and 2018 and an acclaimed new album “Hadeon”, the band got seemingly stopped in their mission to conquer the death metal scene in early 2020, like everybody else, by the global pandemic, going as far as forcing some of the band’s “Hadeon” lineup members to drop the towel. But what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, and instead of letting that whole situation drag him down, Mameli chose to do the exact opposite and write the best and darkest album possible to date. And he just did that. With its ambitious lyrical concept about “global domination,” “induced mental illness,” “inner and outer demons” and malicious external entities, “Exitivm” is propelling the band one again to the forefront of the death metal movement with yet another original and brilliant artistic overhaul.
Mind you, as soon as you’re past the very cinematic introduction “In Omnibvs”, you’re instantly caught up by “Morbvs Propagationem” whose intense riffing will take back to the “Testimony” days. Except that their core sound has been revived, with now extra layers of ominous soundscapes ingeniously suggesting an atmosphere of suspence and horror, boosted by Mameli‘s jazz-fusion impressive solo works and a renewed sense of urgency. This rejuvenation, with emphasis on “new musical landscapes but also sick and twisted riffs,” as stated by Mameli himself, is no accident, though. Not only has Mameli been extremely inspired by the turmoil humanity had to face since March 2020 but with a lineup once again, entirely based in the Netherlands and made up of only super-seasoned players — besides former DEW-SCENTED and CREEPMIME bassist Joost Van Der Graaf and BLEEDING GODS‘ Rutger Van Noordenburg on lead guitar, former GOD DETHRONED drummer Michiel Van Der Plicht joined last year — PESTILENCE is more than ever a band where everybody feeds off of each other’s musical talent.
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With the exception of the drums — tracked by Van Der Plicht himself at his home studio — “Exitivm” was recorded over a period of two months in between June and August 2020 at Pitchnote Productions. The album was produced, like all PESTILENCE albums, by Mameli and is co-produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by Jory Hogeveen (SHINIGAMI and ANCIENT RITES).
“Exitivm” will be available in various formats, including supra-limited picture, pin-wheel, “firebreath” and clear vinyl versions. The cover artwork once again brought the band’s iconic sphere and was done by Michal “Xaay” Loranc, known for his various cover for NILE, GOD DETHERONED and EVOCATION and who previously worked on “Hadeon”.
“Exitivm” track listing:
01. In Omnibvs (Intro)
02. Morbvs Propagationem
07. Dominatvi Svbmissa
08. Pericvlvm Externvm
12. Personatvs Mortem (Outro)
Patrizio Mameli – vocals, lead guitars
Rvtger Van Noordenbvrg – lead guitars
Joost Van Der Graaf – bass
Michiel Van Der Plicht – drums
Photo credit: Marc Van Peski