Malthusian – MMXIII Review

Written By: Kronos

Malthusian_MMXIIIThe foremost sin of Angry Metal Guy as a website is that Noctus gave Altar of PlaguesTeethed Glory and Injury a slightly less than perfect score. Since getting my hands on that album, I’ve been haunted by some part of it every day, whether it be the absolute devastation of “Burnt Year”, the dissonant wall of “Mills” or the wash of drum fills backed by gut-wrenching swathes of sound on “A Body Shrouded”. The album is one of few I have ever considered to be flawless, and one of the most memorable aspects of Teethed Glory and Injury is the drumming. So when I heard that after the group’s disbanding, Johnny King was drumming in Malthusian1, I knew I had to check in on the budding black metallers before anyone had the chance to slightly disagree with me.

Lest I transform into Angry Meta Guy, I’ll discontinue discussion of reviews in this review [YOU’RE FIRED! – AMG]. Let it be said that Malthusian2 should be on the map for anyone who enjoys black metal that isn’t quite black metal. MMXIII delivers a doomy yet visceral display with whirling drums and grating tremolo guitar interspersed with down-tempo leads that are absolutely demonic. “Wraith///Plague Spore” adheres closely to the black metal framework upon which the EP is structured, while the enormous “Mother’s Blade”  feels much more like death metal with a hazy and acrid atmosphere, exacerbated by its 10+ minute length and the dense production, which clings to the audio like adipocere on a forgotten corpse.

Malthusian_2013It’s when “Mother’s Blade” dissolves into noise that the real impact of the choice of production hits home. This mix pantomimes the screams of a man alive in a coffin, desperate and asphyxiating in his own exhausted exhalations. Everything sounds hazy and far away, as if it were being sent to the speakers via smoke signals rather than the less kvlt technique which employs electricity for the job. This might bother the average listener, but personally I think the production and mix actually lend a lot of character to the music, especially since there’s still a surprisingly deep level of clarity in the sound.

With just over 20 minutes of music on hand, Malthusian3 doesn’t have a lot to offer up at the moment, but what they bear is artfully crafted and solidly executed enough to turn heads. MMXIII is in no way revolutionary, but nonetheless it’s worth a few listens, and Malthusian4 is worth keeping an eye on, provided you have an eye that is not currently awash with tears over the breakup of Altar of Plagues.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
Label: Invictus Productions
Release Dates: Out Worldwide on 11.18.2013

Show 4 footnotes

  1. Malthusian? I was going to name my band Weberian, but we didn’t live up to our ideal type. – AMG
  2. We’d even considered naming the band Smithian, but felt compelled to not by an invisible hand. – AMG
  3. We’d kicked around the name Lockeian even, but felt that would have broken the social contract. – AMG
  4. Ultimately, we settled on Hobbesian but our career was nasty, brutish, and short. – AMG
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