After releasing two demos ‘Ceremonial Decapitator‘ and ‘Retribution of Jealous Gods‘ Texan death metal outfit Malignant Altar takes a major step on their debut album ‘Realms of Exquisite Morbidity‘ by signing with Dark Descent Records. Featuring members from Oceans of Slumber, Necrofier, ex-Coffin Grinder and ex-Insect Warefare, the band was formed in 2018 in Houston Texas by Wilson Prevette (vocals), Beau Basely (guitars), Joshua Bokemeyer (guitars), Dobber Beverly (drums) and Matt Aleman (bass). The debut album ‘Realms of Exquisite Morbidity‘ evokes an old school notion that brings enough rotten riffs and sickening growls at their most fundamental, raw and grimy to remind us of Suffocation and Bolt Thrower. Musically speaking, the band injects an unrelenting portion of brutality with their grimy guitar tone.
The combination of relentless brutality and technical riffs wreck in a forward direction like a massive slab of bludgeoning riffs. The opening track ‘Channeling Impure Apparitions‘ reeks of deathly riffs of a suffocating atmosphere. The strong impact of the bulldozing double bass and the grinding drums stands testament to their overwhelming power with riffs as heavy as a sledgehammer that sounds truly brutal. ‘Realms of Exquisite Morbidity‘ churns with unwavering grooves that bounce forward with full on, bludgeoning attacks. Formed by five tracks and an instrumental intermezzo the songs reek of petrifying disgust. The mid-paced tempo is mainly injected with grooves, full of excellent drum fills metamorphosing into swift blast beats that are carried by a contagious slab of riffs. The solos are layered into the sonic gore of barbarity, The band isn’t shy to emote its influences from early Suffocation albums like ‘Effigy of the Forgotten‘.
‘Usurping the Pantheon Crown‘ begins with superb drum fills that combine plenty of ferocious moments into a slow but effective death metal groove. The sudden breakdowns make this track sound much more varied than the previous one. The result is a continuous convulsion of instrumentation churning out rotten riffs. However, the Texan quintet seems to have mastered the craft as they employ the right framework to the song, uncovering the putrid facets of old-school technical death metal. Belching growls exude a sickening atmosphere of filth, despite the low-tuned guitars being fully drenched in heavy reverb. The breakdowns are seemingly unpredictable on the album. Malignant Altar have a fine touch of conveying sufficient levels of putridity so that the low down-tuned rumbles of the bass contrast with the hammering drums and the vocals have deep guttural range.
Every track leaps into constant tempo changes. However, the quintet never sacrifices their putrid brutality. ‘Belial Rebirth (Metempsychosis)‘ continues the onslaught of the hammering drums while the songwriting takes different twists. With this release Malignant Altar managed to form an identity in their own image of gore. ‘Realms of Exquisite Morbidity‘ is far from a generic death metal album, hence the songs are as complex and heavy as a monolithic mountain. When it comes to the riffing technique, guitarists Beau Basely and Joshua Bokemeyer insert some remarkable, grisly sounding guitars, simultaneously adding plenty of slow bizarre riffs in the mid-tempo.
‘Ceremonial Decapitator’, which is incidentally also the title of the band’s first demo, brings some terrific tempo changeswhere the riffs are perfectly layered in such an uncanny fashion. While these characteristics of sludgy riffs and brutal chugging prowlslowly to set up a fierce groovy section, this gnarly and twisted track plays slowly to the mid-pacing level of old-school death metal. Bizarre riff sections, brought by precise technicality, form thick layers into the grimy components. While the other instruments wreck havoc, the fat bass lines and the drums get effectively entangled in a web of complexity. Wilson Prevette’s growls have a deep guttural reverb. They add plenty of hooks to the songs in which the drums are topped by cavernous guitar layers. The final track ‘Rise of Krasue‘ feels like it has risen from the slimy drainage of filth, stemmed from sludgy caveman riffs and a double bass morphing slowly into a heavy groove section.
The moldy and sluggish atmosphere on this track is what makes it so engaging. Albeit the grooves and the horrifying growls echo from the cavernous depths. The element of surprise comes from the dynamic change of tempo and the bludgeoning drums. Malignant Altar‘s songwriting skills prove that they’re equivalent to many modern, old-school death metal acts. Therefore, ‘Realms of Exquisite Morbidity‘ will surely satisfy the fans of old-school/technical death metal. Recommended for fans of Vastum, Suffocation and Cianide.
Release Date: December 10th, 2021
Label: Dark Descent Records
- Channeling Impure Apparitions
- Usurping the Pantheon Crown
- Belial Rebirth
- Ceremonial Decapitator
- Rite of Krasue