Bio 2023/2024

Pestilence was one of the first major bands to emerge from the Dutch extreme metal underground of the 80s. While all the other groups from that era have since vanished into ancient history, Pestilence is as vital, relevant, and ambitious as ever. The band, still led by founding member Patrick Mameli on vocals and guitar, is working on two albums and will embark on a European tour in March 2024. Portals, an album with brand new material, is set to be released in the autumn of next year.

Besides Patrick Mameli the current line-up of Pestilence consists of Rutger van Noordenburg on guitar, Michiel van der Plicht on drums and Roel Käller on bass. Rutger joined the band in 2019. “He supported Pestilence with his band Bleeding Gods, so I got a chance to see him perform every night during that tour”, tells Patrick Mameli. “I was really impressed by his skill and passion. We also got along very well on a personal level, so when we needed a new guitar player, he was the first guy I thought of.”

It was through Rutger that Michiel van der Plicht became involved with Pestilence. “A truly amazing drummer”, says Patrick Mameli. “And the same can be said about the latest addition to the band, Roel Käller, who joined in 2023 as a replacement for bass player Joost van der Graaf. They are all very well-educated musicians. Total professionals. They are all fans of the band and really understand what Pestilence is about. We have an amazing chemistry. I have a feeling that the current line-up will stay together for a very long time.”

The new line up of Pestilence is working on a few projects. One of them is an album of classic Pestilence songs that were performed as part of an online live stream. The drums were saved for the upcoming album, the vocals, guitars and bass parts – still performed by Joost van der Graaf – were all re-recorded. It will be released as an alternative compilation of classic Pestilence songs. The album will be called Levels of Perception, a reference to a track off the Spheres album from 1993. At the same time the band is already working on an album with brand new songs titled Portals. This will be the first album featuring bass player Roel Käller. The album is set to be released in the autumn of 2024. Pestilence will also embark on an European tour earlier that year, in March 2024.

“Portals will be another major step for Pestilence”, says Patrick Mameli. “I really love the previous album Exitivm. This time I want to take it all to another level, with the talent of the current line-up of the band. The songs will be experimental en technical, with loads of heavy riffs – that’s the Pestilence trademark after all. Whenever I’m in working out in the gym or working on new songs, my attitude remains the same: I want to excel, make no mistakes and be the best at what I do. And no rules. Always aim high, wherever it takes me.”

The brand new albums and the upcoming gigs will without any doubt add new and exciting chapters to the already amazing story of a band that was founded in 1986 in the eastern part of the Netherlands. Pestilence gained notoriety in 1987 with two demo’s that eventually led to a deal with the leading Dutch metal label Roadrunner. At the time of their debut album Malleus Maleficarum de band was still standing with one boot in the then current thrash metal style, but Pestilence returned in 1989 as uncompromising death metal band with the now legendary Consuming Impulse album – which includes the relentless death metal classic Out of The Body.

Guitarist Patrick Mameli took over the vocal duties on the third album, the equally impressive Testimony of The Ancients. These groundbreaking albums placed Pestilence in the forefront of the already blossoming European extreme metal scene. The band toured relentlessly, both in Europe and America with other prime bands of the day. After the experimental Spheres, a complex album with a mixture of extreme metal and influences from progressive rock and jazz fusion that was way ahead of its time, the band called it a day.

Pestilence reappeared in 2008, releasing three albums in the years that followed: Resurrection Macabre (2009), Doctrine (2011) and Obsideo (2013). In 2014 that band was put on hold for a second time, allowing Patrick Mameli to focus on his own musical projects. Pestilence resurfaced once again in 2018, with led to a couple of new and very well received albums: Hadeon (2018) and Exitivm (2021). The albums are testament to the bands’ ambition as personified by singer, guitar player and composer Patrick Mameli. His band never fell prey to nostalgia, but always wanted to move forward. “That’s the only thing that really drives me”, states Patrick Mameli. “I’m always trying to improve and change. I never wanted to stick to a formula and repeat myself. That’s why I’ve never been too bothered by the line-up changes, although it gave me an unjustified reputation of being difficult to work with. People left the band for all kinds of reasons – often personal. I’ve always enjoyed hitting the road with a partial new band just to see what a new cast of characters will bring to the songs – musically and personality-wise. It’s a very common thing in the jazz scene.”

While most if not all other bands that made Holland one of the major breeding grounds for extreme metal in the 80s have disappeared, Pestilence is still as vital, relevant, and ambitious as ever. The band wrote history with its albums Consuming Impulse, Testimony of The Ancients and Spheres – all albums that shaped death metal as we know it. The story doesn’t end there. The upcoming albums and tours will prove that Pestilence remains a uncompromising band, with a unique sound, that has lost none of its appeal in the decades that have passed.