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Malignant Altar – Realms Of Exquisite Morbidity Award winner

Malignant Altar
Realms Of Exquisite Morbidity
by Thomas Kumke at 09 March 2022, 10:42 PM

MALIGNANT ALTAR were formed in 2018 and they are from Houston, Texas. The traditional Death Metal band released two demos so far and “Realms Of Exquisite Morbidity” is their debut full-length album. It was mastered by Arthur Rizk, recorded and mixed by drummer Dobber Beverly. The album has a length of almost 34 minutes and it was released by Colorado label Dark Descent Records which is specialized in Death, Doom, and Black Metal.

MALIGNANT ALTAR may be a new band in the Death Metal scene, but all of their members are vastly experienced, currently or formerly playing in a large number of extreme Metal bands, most notably WARMASTER, OCEANS OF SLUMBER, and NECROFIER. The interesting thing is that those bands cover a broad range of extreme metal with WARMASTER playing a BOLT THROWER inspired Death Metal, NECROFIER being associated with melodic Black Metal, and OCEANS OF SLUMBER playing progressive Metal. In particular, the bonds are tight with OCEANS OF SLUMBER even beyond music. With that in mind, I was really curious about the debut offering “Realms Of Exquisite Morbidity”.

The six track album starts very powerful and dark with “Channeling Impure Apparitions”. The guitar riffing is spine-chilling, the rhythm is slow and stomping, the drumming offer everything which is available in the Death Metal arsenal, ranging from blast-beat attacks to double-bass thunderstorms. The growling vocals sound brutal, being mostly at the low end of the guttural range. Since most of the tracks have around six minutes playing time, the song structures are complex with plenty of changes in tempo and rhythm. “Channeling Impure Apparitions” offers down-tempo breakdowns as well as highly paced parts and there is also time for a cool and very contributing lead guitar solo.

Usurping The Pantheon Crown” seamlessly continues with the sluggish Death Metal assault and feeds in a chaotic lead guitar solo right at the start. The sound is blood-freezing and the guitars, bass, and drums steamroll through the track. Again, there is enough time for rhythm changes and MALIGNANT ALTAR use this wisely to add in a hammering part starting at mid-tempo and then transitioning into a short part played at breakneck speed with another blast-beat explosion, before a doom-laden breakdown introduces the end of the track.

Belial Rebirth” starts with a crunching bass line, before the stomping rhythm carries the track forward. It does not take long before the chaos at blistering pace takes over proceedings with the vocals having a bit more variation by including a few higher notes and a few screams. The relentless drumming here is second to none. A feature of the album are the sharp transitions, here at the mid-point of the track where an abrupt change occurs from the high speed mayhem to the slow and gloomy rhythm. The dark atmosphere is intensified by grim lead guitar melodies and the guitars, bass, and drums waltz the track to the end. The guitar riffing is a bit repetitive here and track could have been a bit a shorter.

The title track is a two minutes interlude, and the steamroller continues with “Ceremonial Decapitator” which starts with a two minutes introduction of dark guitar riffing and added chilling atmosphere by the lead guitars. The rhythm is head-banging during the first half of the track while it then transitions into a mid-tempo affair until it comes to abrupt transition. The shredding bass introduces the down-tempo part, where the guitars and bass drive the track forward at a pounding rhythm. The doomy lead guitar melodies finish another blood-freezing affair. The final track “Rite Of Krasue” starts at frenzy pace with plenty of blast-beats before it transitions into mid-tempo. The bass lines are leading the track during the mid-tempo part. “Rite Of Krasue” has a complex structure with a number of tempo changes. After a short and intense highly paced part, a bell announces a two minutes down-tempo part. The finale goes back to the initial mid-tempo theme until it slowly fades out. “Rite Of Krasue” is the official video release with the YouTube kink given below.

Realms Of Exquisite Morbidity” is a very good debut album. It mixes traditional Death Metal sound with plenty of doom and gloom. While the sound is dominated by a slow and stomping rhythm and grim melodies, MALIGNANT ALTAR are smartly mixing things up by introducing, sometimes unexpected, twists in tempo. The guitars are not very technical and playful, but effectively provide a chilling atmosphere. Highlight for me is the drumming of Dobber Beverly. The vocals often lack variation, but they fit very well to the sound. The album is very well produced. MALIGNANT ALTAR set the bar high with their debut and Death Metal fans have something to look forward to.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  8
Memorability:  8
Production:  9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Channeling Impure Apparitions
2. Usurping The Pantheon Crown
3. Belial Rebirth
4. Realms Of Exquisite Morbidity
5. Ceremonial Decapitator
6. Rite Of Krasue
Lineup:
Wilson Prevette – Vocals
Beau Beasley – Guitars
Joshua Bokemeyer ­ Guitars
Dobber Beverly – Drums
Mat V. Aleman – Bass
Record Label: Dark Descent Records
     


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