I remember buying this on cassette back in 1988 without knowing a whole lot about this band. Back then I thought that it was very fast and heavy compared to many of the thrash bands of the day. Hearing it again via this re-issue, they were playing a style of thrash that was also bordering on an early death metal style. It's fairly aggressive with more pace changes than most bands and they were still holding on to a slightly underdone production which certainly suits their style rather nicely. Looking back this isn't as noisy as say the early works of Possessed or Death and certainly not in the hyper speed for the sake of speed approach that bands like Napalm Death were conjuring up back then. Thrash was a movement that come on fast and quickly splintered off into various sub-genres. Say around 1986-87 thrash was a fairly limited style, I mean you had some difference in pace and approach yet it wasn't that varied. By about 88-90 you had bands from the group who were becoming more mainstream and slowing down and then you other bands that wanted to grow and either become more extreme or diverse. After this debut Pestilence would grow beyond their fairly basic thrash origins and by the early 1990's they would be integrating jazz and other sounds into their music. Today they are regarded as one of the bands who helped to create a more technical style of death metal. Their debut is rather basic is some respects, but they were certainly active enough that this holds up well twenty years after it's release. Not every thrash act from back can say that as I have gone back and heard acts once loved only to discover that they now sound clunky and amateurish. Mallevs Maleficarum is tightly woven and thick enough in it's heaviness that I still enjoy it. Their lyrics seem to show an equal amount of distrust towards organized religion and the world of science. I can't say that they did enough on the debut to hint at what they would become, but perhaps the ideas were in their heads even then. Metal Mind's re-issue includes a booklet with lyrics and a band biography.