Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Malthusian : "Below the Hengiform"

This Irish band might not be straddling as many genre fences as they think, it's line between occult death metal and doom that is questioned here. The blastier moments go about this coming from more of a death metal place, despite the fact this band possesses the drummer from the late great Altar of Plagues The vocals are low gasped growls, that are layer against a more defined and higher scream.They come from more of an Incantation and Morbid Angel school of death metal. The shifting grimness of the riffs flows in a serpentine manner, jumping out for devouring moments of violence. It moves sluggishly and there is a cool angular twist to the riffs, it's admirable that they have taken common elements in today's metal and warped them to suit their own needs. In some ways it reminds me of last year's Nightfell album as the mixture of sounds is very organic and better left just being referred to as metal.

"Slouching Equinox" bleeds with more ambiance, despite being a denser and more deliberate in it's punishment.  The faster build carries an anguished scream that wants to perhaps be black metal. "Forms Become Vapor" at times grinds with almost more of an Inquisition feel, so this  is the only place I can hear the black metal coming into play, yet the pacing is buried closer to the crypts of  death metal . The death metal really feels like it's brutally unapologetic, as death metal should be.When this really pound at you the effect is powerful. It throbs with darkness. The dry rasp of the vocals carries more of a croak than a bellow, so these guys are versatile, not sure I would even call this blackened. Nor really is it doom. Is something doom just because it is slow ? It has more of a sludged out throb to it than really becoming introspective enough to have any morbid reflection.The album is never plodding, it's for those who thought the whole occult death metal thing was to atmospheric for them and needed some meat and potatoes metal chugs thrown in.I'll give this one an 8.5 , because it is very effective at what they set out to do and really doesn't have any fault except sounding like a slab of metal best used safely in the comfort of your own home lest you become swallowed in it's weight undertow.

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