A side project of Mourning Beloveth, Abaddon Incarnate and Altar of Plagues members, only a demo has previously emerged in the three years of Malthusian‘s existence. A support slot on the recent Primordial UK tour raised a few surprised heads in appreciation, and this downright dank, evil EP, Below the Hengiform (Invictus) enhances that growing reputation.
Coated in a production dripping with rotting tendrils and assorted filth, a crushing Doom-like weight yields to a more technical, less chaos-infested version of infernal Portland duo Aevangelist, and when a production is deliberately engineered to augment the sound I’m all for it,
The rasping screams of opener ‘The Gasless Billows’ lead into an eerie, Blackened-Doom corridor of fear before the blastbeats and subdued, skewed riffs emit increased energy, yet remain utterly devoid of hope. The fetid atmospheres of the dark, possessed ‘Slouching Equinox’, it’s crashing roars subterranean, are positively rancid and reek of decaying life; the cavernous roar near unintelligible yet the mid-paced bridges, whilst steeped in swampwater, display elements of Classic Metal and the disgusting filth the crashing coda washes the ears in is as delicious as it is diseased. The full cacophony is utterly monstrous and, while the Doomy mid-section does occasionally feel a little empty, the omen of horror remains and is borne out by a chilling, screaming coda.
The weight of those riffs and pounding drums in closer ‘Forms Become Vapor’ is nauseating, yet not enough to prevent a return to Aevangelist’s swerving riffs and harrowing choruses. It’s a finale that continues the blend of twisted horror and monolithic power this band, with all its experience, seems destined to purvey to perfection.