Pestilence were a death metal band from the Netherlands founded in 1986. Later they incorporated more jazz and fusion elements into their music. They released four albums before disbanding in order to pursue other musical directions in 1994.
Pestilence started in the Netherlands in the mid 1986 as a thrash metal band. The lineup, consisting of Patrick Mameli (guitar, vocals), Randy Meinhard (guitar), and Marco Foddis (drums), recorded two demos before gaining the attention of Roadrunner Records. After the first demo, Martin van Drunen (bass, vocals) joined them. These two demos - Dysentery (1986) and The Penance (1987) - are raw, sounding mostly like a cross between Possessed and Schizophrenia-era Sepultura. After signing to Roadrunner Records, Pestilence released their debut album titled Malleus Maleficarum in 1988, further refining their approach to thrash metal. The new material was tighter and more focused than the demos. Shortly thereafter, guitarist Randy Meinhard left the band to pursue other musical goals in a new band named Sacrosanct.
Meanwhile, Pestilence recruited a new guitar player by the name of Patrick Uterwijk. In 1989, the band released their second album Consuming Impulse, which was a turn toward to death metal. From a musical standpoint, things became heavier and more haunting. Vocally, Martin van Drunen moved away from cleaner vocals in favour of a more acidic growl. With its release, Pestilence gained international attention, highly regarded worldwide by death metal fans.