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The intro is a perfect setup for the album’s content. It represents an once quiet laboratory that’s promptly destroyed by something vicious, maybe the sickening result of some experiment on transmutation. After reducting the lab to an absolute mess, the criature gains the streets, ready to slash and chew anything that crosses its way.
That description fits perfectly with any musician involved with this album, but the vocals are probably the most real incarnation of a ruthless, seeing-red beast. Few death metal albums have such a powerful performance. Technically, they are extremely guttural, unintelligible death metal growls with little to no variation (except for a rare scream and minor pitch changes). But somehow, they aren’t your generic, filler-like vocals. Danny Nelson develops a style that fits perfectly with the disordered nature of the music: Unleashed, feral and sometimes plain scary. Just listen to the 12 seconds growl at the start of “Post Mortem Perception”. Now tell me it doesn’t sound as demented and grotesque as Lord Worm first vocals at “Crown of Horns”. And as passionate and memorable.
As for the musical structures, Malignancy have the concept of “chaos” in absolute domain. It doesn’t sound disjointed and gratuitous, but really complicated and well-composed, full of clashing riffs, drumming and the vocals. The main pillar for this formula’s sucess is the creativity, present in the way they write their riffs and arrange them. Speaking of the riffs, I should give them an A+, just because of the total abuse of pinch harmonics. These are usually employed for effect, but here Malignancy adopts them to develop a very original and dominant riffage style. When combinated with some rare tremolos (1:20 to 1:38 of Mortality Weakness, for example), the result is great. The counterpoint is made by some well-applied brutal slam riffs (that oddly enough aren’t the 2695th ripoff of “Liege of Inveracity”’s breakdown) that when allied to the vocals and blistering drumming (see “Fibroid Embolism”, probably the best track here), conjurate an absolutely destructive power.
Another strong point of the album is the production, a great example of well-thought death metal production. Although the sound is clear, it’s not as lifeless as, say, the most recent Nile album. It has enough low end and the instruments are simply impeccable. The album’s opressive and “out-of-control” atmosphere owes a lot to the extremely sludgy tone of the guitars when slamming, the screechy pinches (not something stupid as Necrophagist or the new Origin, that unfortunately decided to incorporate the stupid “bleeping” guitars) and the puncturing drums. Speaking of them, the performance has variety and doesn’t let down when it comes to mantaining aggression and keeping the music interesting.
Overall, this is a lost gem. Catchy while intelligent, original and extremely brutal, it represents all the good things death metal has. Great job.