Pestilence erupted in the mid 80ís from the eastern part of Holland as one of the earliest European representatives of a brand new extreme kind of music: death metal. Its debut Malleus Maleficarum from 1988 had a huge impact on the then current metal scene. Pestilence spread like wildfire during the years that followed. The band managed to bland brute force, morbid imagery and musical perfection into music that was truly groundbreaking and highly influential. Consuming Impulse from 1989 and Testimony Of the Ancients from 1991 were internationally received masterpieces that helped to define an era and a musical genre.
Pestilence developed itself in a spectacular way in a few frantic years, despite relentless touring and promotional obligations. And... Patrick Mameli was never the one to play it safe. So in 1993 he started composing and recording what was to be the Spheres album. A growing fondness of fusion music found its way to the new style that Pestilence presented. In recent years the albums had been heralded as an adventurous and daring piece of work that was ahead of its time. Way back then it was misunderstood and fell on many deaf ears. It created tension in and around the band.
In 1994 the band came to a crushing halt. For many years Patrick Mameli, who had been such a vocal factor in the international death metal community, seem to have disappeared from the face of the earth. His appetite for musical adventure and stubborn character shaped the music of his new band C-187, that debuted in 2007. Although the album brought him no new successes, it marked his long awaited return to the world of heavy music. It did not take long for fans around the world to voice their desire for a return of the mighty Pestilence.
The result of many months of hard work is aptly titled Resurrection Macabre. The new album has everything to offer that a fan of Pestilence Ė old and new Ė possibly could wish for. And more. It has the dark atmosphere, brutal vocals, sheer power and technical skills Ė always the trademarks of Pestilence. Patrick Mameli stresses that his band is not going to take the easy ride of nostalgia. ,,I donít want to rely on successes of the past. This is not a reunion, but a second life for Pestilence. Thatís why we wanted to mark our comeback with a new studio album. Stylistically it goes back to the days of Consuming Impulse and Testimony of the Ancients, but itís also apparent that time did not stand still. I am a better musician than I was back then. Compared to the old days the technical possibilities are limitless.Ē
Following the release of Resurrection Macabre Pestilence will support the album old heavy metal style: by hitting the road for a still growing number of gigs worldwide. The first responses of fans, promoters and media are overwhelming and unanimous: Pestilence is back!
Kate: Thank you so much for taking the time; it is a great honor to be talking with you!
Patrick: Hey, no problem, Iím a little behind schedule but better than last week! (laughs)
Kate: Are you guys on tour right now or getting ready to tour?
Patrick: Well, we have a U.S. tour coming up, we just did a festival in Holland, a show in Germany but now weíre gearing up for the U.S. tour.
Kate: How does it feel to be touring again?
Patrick: We definitely feel more focused, thereís a new lineup in the band, and we have kids now so itís not like the old days. No more drinking and getting crazy. Itís a little more tiring. You know we hung out with the guys from Carcass and Napalm Death and it doesnít seem like theyíve changed too much. They still have the long hair and everything. Maybe weíve changed?
Kate: Do you take your kids on the road with you?
Patrick: Oh no, itís not the kind of environment I want my kids to be around, theyíre only three and five but my oldest said to me the other day, ďDaddy, when you get too old for this, Iíll take over for you. Iíll start a new PestilenceĒ. How cool is that?
Kate: That is totally cool, that is so awesome! Carry on the legacy! So you guys pretty much disappeared from the metal scene, why were you gone for so long from the metal scene?
Patrick: We were just getting really fed up with the music industry. The label were on was getting really huge and we didnít feel like we had any support from them. We couldnít change our style at all and when we did Spheres we had no support from the label so we were just really fed up with them.
Kate: Right, that album, definitely had more of a jazzy-fusion vibe to it.
Patrick: Yeah, we just wanted to do something different and realistically it might have not been the best idea because we did lose some fans with Spheres.
Kate: How does Resurrection Macabre differ from other albums?
Patrick: Itís not very much different but it definitely sounds like Pestilence. I didnít listen to too much death metal when we were doing this album because I didnít want to sound like everyone else. I composed all the songs but would check with everyone in the band to make sure they were okay with it. It definitely has a fresh raw sound to it.
Kate: Definitely, Iíve been listening to it non-stop, I love it!
Patrick: Oh, awesome, thank you.
Kate: With this new lineup does it feel pretty solid?
Patrick: Well, our old bass player is back with us so thatís great and we have a new drummer and heís just amazing. Heís this twenty-three year old and does these blast beats just non-stop and itís awesome. Iím really happy with the lineup. The click is definitely there, with Resurrection we had some session musicians come in and out so it was hard to get that vibe but itís definitely there now.
Kate: What are your hopes for this tour?
Patrick: I really have no idea what to expect. Last year we tried to play the Maryland Death Fest but got sent back by immigration but our Visaís approved now so weíre really happy to be doing that. We just hope people are open-minded to the new material. We know fans want to hear the old stuff which weíll play too but we need to promote the new album too. Weíre just very anxious and excited because itís been so many years.
Kate: When it came to recording Resurrection was it hard to get back into that frame of mind again?
Patrick: When we came into the studio none us knew what to expect but itís like riding a bike. Once you start getting into it again, you just bike. As long as it comes from the heart, thatís all that really matters.
Kate: Are you getting ready to work on a new album in the near future?
Patrick: Yep, already have five new songs and getting ready to record that in September. Its way more brutal and an even further step for Pestilence.
Kate: What are your thoughts on the metal scene these days? Iím sure youíve seen some changes; do you think itís changed for the good?
Patrick: Everything progresses, it grows and expands. The popularity of the metal scene is either ultra-popular or totally underground. You canít really get a grip on it. Weíre on the up wave right now but it could go down next year. A lot of bands are super fast, their motto is: ďYou donít blast, you donít lastĒ, and thatís great but we want to create memorable songs.
Kate: Right, I canít remember who I was reviewing but I remember saying that the bands had two speeds: faster and fastest. Which is fine but at the same time while I was listening Iím thinking ďOk, what else you got?Ē
Patrick: Exactly, and a lot of the riffs are shitty and we feel if the riffs are shitty donít play them. We want to write good songs and I think weíve achieved that.
Kate: Absolutely! How have fans reactions been to your return?
Patrick: People have had mixed emotions, some are still holding onto the past. They have to realize that people do change. Lineups change. Same with the reaction to Metallica, people have to understand that change is good. The musicianship on this album is excellent. Younger fans of metal who havenít heard of us yet will pick up ďResurrectionĒ and appreciate it. As long as the band is behind it, Iím happy.
Kate: Who have been some of your influences over the years?
Patrick: Itís weird but I hardly listen to music anymore. My boss, whoís younger than me listens to this techno stuff on the radio all day so when I get home I just want peace and quiet. My son loves jazz though which is awesome!
Kate: Any words for your fans?
Patrick: we just hope that people come out to the shows and have a blast!
Kate: Thanks again so much, I really appreciate it! It was great talking with you!
Patrick: it was great talking with you and I really hope you can make it out to one of our shows.
Kate: I live in Hawaii but I think a trip to the mainland is in order to catch you guys live!
Patrick: (laughing) Awesome!
We would like to thank all that made this interview a possibility and to Patrick for blessing us with his legendary presence!