Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
Why is Pestilence a Famous Band?
Pestilence is one of the earliest Dutch death metal bands and it is known for having vocalist and bassist Martin Van Drunen in their early years as a member. Being a fan of Asphyx, the band that Van Drunen would join after her left Pestilence, I knew I had to give these guys a listen with Van Drunen being the vocalist on their 1989 album Consuming Impulse.
A Cult Classic in the Death Metal Genre?
Even the drum sound and style sounds like it was in the later part of the 1980s. Consuming Impulse is one of those albums that is considered a cult classic but does that description really fit when we want to look back on this album and analyze it? Lyrically, this band was very socially aware especially at that time. The riffs are pretty superb for an album that came out at that time and the vocals certainly fit this band as well so the argument could be made that this album would have been a classic for most death metal bands. All of the members on this album are from the Netherlands with the exception of drummer Marco Foddis who is Italian.
About the Songs in Consuming Impulse
“Proliferous Souls” is a really good instrumental song with some good lead guitar in it and the style resembles something that progressive metal band Elegy did in their career as well. We discussed the fact that the lyrics in this album have to do with topics that show how socially aware this band was at the time. Songs cover topics such as the importance of drinking plenty of water if you are lost in a desert area (Dehydration) or what humans are doing to destroy the Earth and make it harder for future generations to survive. That song is called “The Process of Suffocation.” The album’s cover shows the face of a man that is very scared because he has a bunch of insects all over him that are ready to feast on him. A pestilence is known as a massive infectious disease that has the potential to wipe out scores of humans such as a plague.
In short, we could say that the songs on the album focus on aspects related to health, medicine, disease, and the one thing that most of us are reluctant to talk about: death. The song “Echoes of Death” lyrically tells us what happens when a human being dies. They are in a place that is calm and peaceful above what humans experience on Earth. The song also says that humans have tried to defy death and achieve immortality but that they have not been successful in doing so. The song says that we should not fear death because it will happen to us anyway and that we are promised a life after death. Or are we really promised life after death? We can only speculate that. The song in terms of its style with the riffs and drumming style resemble albums such as Scream Bloody Gore and Leprosy.
A Map of the Birthplace of the Band Pestilence
© 2021 Ara Vahanian