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Pestilence - Testimony of The Ancients (Reissue) Award winner

Testimony of The Ancients (Reissue)
by Suicide Cliff at 28 October 2021, 2:24 PM

Netherland death metal legends PESTILENCE have reissued their 1991 classic Testimony of the Ancients in this double LP featuring live performances from the Dynamo Open Air festival in 1992. If you’ve never had the chance to enjoy their raw destructive sonic annihilation then you are surely missing out.  But worry not, their brutal legacy continues on and honors the souls of the past.

“The Secrecies of Horror” introduces the groundbreaking album with some 80’s synth stacked with sawtooth guitar tones and thrash styled frenetic drumming.  The verses are an energy packed assault on the senses as Patrick Mameli screams his unholy manifesto of grotesque mystic revelation.  The chorus brings back in the dark synth tones from the intro adding that melancholy horror movie vibe to a killer track.  The lead guitars are extremely dissonant and tension inducing which complement the theme of the song and album as a whole.

My favorite track from the original album is “Land of Tears”.  Right from the beginning it brings a fast paced twisted riff then it ramps up even more going into the verse with some tremolo picking and quick handed palm mutes on the guitars.  About halfway through it breaks down into a slow and grueling part right before going into a more groovy and melodically blissful section.  The solos in this song are the reason why I love it so much.  The phrasing is so graceful and right when you get sucked into its magnificence your head is smashed in once again with brutality. The juxtaposition of the beautiful and ugly really allow them to be appreciated more.  And so it is in art as it is in life.

The live performances on the second LP are superb and the audio quality is really good for being recorded in the early 90’s.  You really get the feel of energy and power of the venue in the sound.  Although all the live songs are awesome, my favorite is “Stigmatized”.  It’s missing the synth in the intro from the studio version but it still kicks major ass.  The way the instruments introduce melodies and mimic each other really allows the listener to appreciate and cement the ideas and emotions the band is trying to portray.  The tempo changes and dynamics of the middle section are as heavenly as the other aspects of the song are hellish.  Once again bringing into play the dualities of Chaos and Order, Salvation and Destruction, Darkness and Light, etc.

Both LPs are just oozing with death metal bad badassness.  If you are a new fan or an old worshipper and don’t already have “Testimony of the Ancients” then this is the perfect opportunity for you to obtain an absolutely legendary album with high quality recordings of live performances you won’t find anywhere else.  Cheers to my brothers in PESTILENCE for continuing to create awesome music and bringing the voice of the ancients alive and flowing through this ever decaying and rotting world!

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. The Secrecies of Horror
2. Bitterness
3. Twisted Truth
4. Darkening
5. Lost Souls
6. Blood
7. Land of Tears
8. Free us from Temptation
9. Prophetic Revelations
10. Impure
11. Testimony
12. Soulless
13. Presence of the Dead
14. Mindwarp
15. Stigmatized
16. In Sorrow
17. Chemo Therapy (Live - Dynamo Open Air 1992)
18. Presence of the Dead (Live - Dynamo Open Air 1992)
19. The Process of Suffocation (Live - Dynamo Open Air 1992)
20. Lost Souls (Live - Dynamo Open Air 1992)
21. Twisted Truth (Live - Dynamo Open Air 1992)
22. Testimony (Live - Dynamo Open Air 1992)
23. Chronic Infection (Live - Dynamo Open Air 1992)
24. Stigmatized (Live - Dynamo Open Air 1992)
25. Out of the Body (Live - Dynamo Open Air 1992)
Patrick Mameli - Vocals, Lead & Rhythm guitar
Joost vd Graff - Bass
Rutger v. Noordenburg - Lead & Rhythm Guitar
Michiel van der Plicht - Drums
Record Label: Hammerheart Records


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