Sound — 9
As an avid Death Metal fan, I just had to do this classic album. This and Gorguts' "Considered Dead" are two traditional death albums that never get much credit, although they're two of the best. The Dutch band Pestilence would later become well known for Progressive and Jazz Fusion Death Metal, but this record is still their best. It's pure, first-wave, unadulterated Death Metal. The recording technique and bass/guitar harmony make for powerful, blasting riffs that hit you head-on like a freight train. The guitar work, upon first listen, seems very typical for early 90's Death Metal. But once you listen again and again, you find little things that make you realize the intricacy of Patrick Uterwijik and Patrick Mameli's guitar. Mameli also has the bass responsibilities on this album, and you can tell his focus is shifted towards the bass. Very well done on that part, but I think the golden ribbon for CI goes to the drummer, Marco Foddis. The percussion on this album just sets it over the top from more well known bands like Deicide and Nile. It's not just blast beat, double bass insanity; it's something you can really get into, which evolves into the center point of the Jazz influence on the next release Spheres.
Lyrics — 10
When it comes to the vocals, Marin Van Drunen reminds us a little bit of Obituary's John Tardy. In the general and overall vocal style; and also in the way he creates a feeling of not evil and bloodthirst like other bands, but panic and paranoia, putting you on the other side of the horror show. As for the lyrics, it has the classic gore and impending death themes of Death Metal, but seems much more mature. As your internal organs decay, your life slowly fades away, vultures circling in the sky. Peeling the flesh from a corpse, Blackened bones are all that's left. Dehydration as the death, the cause. from Dehydration as a prime example. It's almost poetic, but still graphic. This is how all Gore Metal should be, in my opinion.
Overall Impression — 9
All things considered, I think more bands should take a cue from this album. Everything about this album is a great formula for quality Death Metal. The atmosphere created on songs like Reduced To Ashes and Trauma is an experience that's just out of your mind. Pestilence is well known among die-hard metal fans, but I think casual listeners should be more aware of them. Extremely unique, trademark sound right here.