Album Review: Malthusian – Across Deaths

Malthusian hail from Dublin and have been plying their trade of death, black and doom metal since their inception in 2012. After releasing one demo and one EP, Invictus Productions along with Dark Descent Records have heard enough to offer the band a worldwide record deal for their debut album, Across Deaths. With the rise of UK and Irish extreme metal as a whole, underground bands are getting noticed again and chances are being given to bands that deserve and warrant far more attention than they are currently getting. One reason for this is the fact that the band has not one but three vocalists all adding diversity and atmosphere to the album. With their debut album, Malthusian are only going to reach new heights for themselves and garner an ever-growing fan base due to the quality of this debut album.

Opening track “Remnant Fauna”, there is not much of the doom element in this song as it is relentless in its speed and reminds me of Dead Congregation, fellow countrymen Slidhr and Ævangelist. Intense and chaotic but controlled riffs with venomous vocals in the more black than death metal vein are the order of the day. This is Malthusian at their fastest and it’s invigorating, encapsulating and you can’t help but being sucked into the atmosphere of it all. Listen to the stunning riff at 1.45 and tell me that you are not being sucked into the abyss.

The opening section of next track “Across the Expanse of Nothing” is stunning and special mention must go to drummer JK who clearly has an abundance of talent, coordinating speed with dexterity and precision few can master. The vocals are much more deathly in the delivery and with the strong structure remind me of one of my favourite bands of all time Disembowelment and latter-day Inverloch. This is not to say that Malthusian are mere copycats but they infuse their influences with their own magic and create something special. The time changes in this song are incredible and having three vocalists in the band, each creating their own sound and it’s just something that you will want to see how this all comes together on the live front. This is some scary shit; ending with a growl from a human that you would not want to meet in a dark alley at night put it that way.

“Sublunar Hex” again starts off with blast beats and riffs that must have set the guitarists plectrums on fire such is the speed. The vocals again are constantly in your face and pounding your eardrums, not giving them a split second chance of a rest bite. It may sound messy but Malthusian are masters at being morbid and desolate with an outstanding section from the four to five-minute mark of total assault to all of your senses. The only comparison that comes close to this chaos is Ævangelist but Malthusian is just a different breed of animal. You have been warned.

There has not been much in the way of the doom metal side of things from the record thus far, however, that is about to change with the thirteen minute “Primal Attunement – the Gloom Epoch”. This is the tune to play live after battering the fans with the previous onslaught. This is dooming death metal at its very best and again I get Disembowelment at their slowest. The vocal performances are especially strong and guttural to match the pace of the song and have come from the deepest depths of their lungs. Again particularly strong riffs at the seven-minute mark just got this headbanging in situ. Really powerful song.

Malthusian have let us know that the previous track was enough of a rest bite and with “Telluric Tongues (Roaring into the Earth)”, it’s back with the blast beats from beginning to end. The vocal delivery is much sharper than previous tracks and the guitar is relentless in pace also. It all may sound a bit chaotic but Malthusian knows exactly what they are doing.  There are no real technical riffs here, in fact, some people may consider them to be minimalist but its how they are structured and put together at the precise moment is commendable. It is then filled with layers of complexity that gives the overall sound and this is a barbaric way to end off the album.

Malthusian have shown a great maturity in structuring a song from their earlier efforts and have learned from their past experiences and feedback from fans and created this monster of a debut album. It’s been a great year for UK and Irish extreme metal and Malthusian have added their tuppence worth and keeping the flag flying high. Word of warning though as this is not for everybody and the weak. Only those who can withstand brutal, uncompromising, chaotic, and destructive and a horrific extreme metal need apply.

Across Deaths is released on 7th September

Malthusian: facebook | bandcamp

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