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Blistering Song of the Day: Pestilence's "Deify Thy Master"

By: Mike Sloan

Pestilence - "Deify Thy Master"
From 1989's Consuming Impulse (Roadrunner)

Arguably the crown jewel from the best Pestilence album, “Deify Thy Master” ranks near the top among the finest death metal songs ever written. While not a second of music on Consuming Impulse is even remotely dull; it’s the 4:52 of perfection that is “Deify Thy Master” that sends the album over the top and into the annals of extreme metal history.

Whether it’s the super-catchy intro that leads into one hell of a heavy riff (one of the heaviest and catchiest ever, mind you), or the mesmerizing chorus lead by the unmistakably tortured vocals of Martin van Drunen, everything about the song is a testament to how magical late ‘80s/early ‘90s era of death metal was. In a matter of five years the world was treated to the best albums from Morbid Angel, Carcass, Atheist, Death, Atrocity, Deicide, Cannibal Corpse and Pestilence; almost no album ever written is as great as Consuming Impulse.

The strength of any album is determined on the number of excellent tracks found within. Consuming Impulse is chock full of masterworks, but the crème de la crème is “Deify Thy Master.” It’s debatable whether the song is driven more so by Patrick Mameli’s otherworldly guitar or van Drunen’s voice; either way, the way those two coalesce (along with second guitarist Patrick Uterwijk and Marco Foddis’ brilliant lyrics and drumming) is something that rarely happens in music these days.

“Deify Thy Master” is one of those songs that never gets old no matter how times it’s played and even though the post-van Drunen version of Pestilence is still an awesome machine, they’ve never been able to match the sheer brilliance found on Consuming Impulse. The Dutch band has released a few magnificent albums since then as well as some terrific singular songs, but they’ve never been able to surpass (let alone even match) the absolute perfection that is “Deify Thy Master.”


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