Pestilence – “Consuming Impulse”

On their second album, these Dutch miscreants found the perfect intersection of death and thrash metals. It’s a ripping slab of savagery — every riff a killer, splashy thrashy drums, loose and raw production, and the hoarse sandpaper roar of the greatest death vocalist to ever turn his vocal cords into throbbing-raw meat, Martin Van Drunen. Every track here is a slayer, no death no glory, bone crackin’ fever, hair flying, blood everywhere, no survivors. And that album cover. The guy being overwhelmed by ants. The T-shirt to make your mom blanch and scissor your mullet in your sleep. Notably, Van Drunen — who also fronted the frashy, almost-as-great debut “Malleus Maleficarum” — quit to do great things with Asphyx and Hail of Bullets while egomaniacal guitarist Patrick Mameli slowly drove Pestilence into (oof) prog-jazz-metal territory. I feel like apologizing for him for that, although third record “Testimony of the Ancients” has many good moments sans Van Drunen’s lunatic howling. Yet “Consuming Impulse” stands forever as the band’s masterpiece, a perfect album for anyone itching for the rashiest of deathrashes. – John Serba