Malthusian is the bottom basement of Hell Doom. These are the kind of sounds you might imagine going through the mind of a serial killer when they’re chopping a body up after they’ve already ritually desecrated it in the name of Satan himself. This is deep, dark, dark, dark, slimy, crusty, filthy, almost excremental Death/Doom Metal all balled up into a huge boulder of decrepitude.
In other words, if you’re a fan of sludgy Death/Doom, you’ve found a new favorite band.
This release byMalthusian, their first full-length, is an unrelenting pummel of despair and darkness. I don’t know what neighborhood these guys come from in Ireland, but I have to say I hope it’s a lot brighter than the music they’ve given us. Otherwise, I might fear for their sanity.
Label: Invictus Productions
Every song flows together, the production soupy and meaty, but still creating a blackened wall of sound that surges forward and mows down anything in its way. This is like standing in front of a tank that’s going to roll over you and mangle all your body parts in its thick, greased treads, but in no particular rush to get anywhere.
The band describes this record as a cinematic sound, and I guess I can see that. But this cinema is purely the opening credits for the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, where you can feel the oppressive summer heat with each flash of the camera as they slowly reveal a despoiled corpse. This is uneasy and grimy and I really can’t think of any more adjectives to describe just how filthy this whole thing is.
The vocals are a mix of guttural screams and screeches, but they’re buried in the mix, no more important than the muddy, thick, down-down-down-tuned guitars. I think there’s a bass in there somewhere, but it’s a bottomless pit straight to Hell. The drums really rumble and yes, the idea of a reverberating tank coming to run you over is applicable here. They can go slow or blastbeat, yet they still seem to be going the same speed.
There’s all sorts of sounds going on here. The basis is Doom, I think, but there’s so much Death to this that I wouldn’t be opposed to Malthusian being described as a Death Metal band. Plenty bits of blackened crust accrue as the machine rolls along, giving this grunting, destructive stew added flavor. This keeps the proceedings from ever growing stale.
Pretty much you know already if you’re going to like this or not. Fans of this are going to fall to the band’s feet and exclaim them the new messiahs. I liked it, but it’s not something I can listen to over and over again (although, funnily enough, repeated listens reveal deeper layers). This isn’t a put on the car stereo and cruise through the suburban streets during summer fist-pumper kind of release. And that’s okay, because people who get snowed in for weeks on end and have to resort to cannibalism to survive need a soundtrack, too.