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I’ve always been moderately fond of what Malignancy brought to the table of technical death metal. They’ve always been an impressive group despite having just a handful of major releases, yet there has always been a timeless edge to most of their material that puts them in league with Suffocation or Cryptopsy as one of the godfathers of their mangling identity. “Eugenics” marks just the third full-length album under the Malignancy banner, but these New Yorkers are clearly as twisted and complicated as ever. The basis of “Eugenics” is a cyclone of unlimited depravity that scoops nuclear fallout out of irradiated wastelands and distributes the poison over every part of the planet, leaving no vegetation or life untainted. Too many parts of this album are inhuman, chugging through claustrophobic grooves which pound bone into brittle and swirl the genetic code into a dysfunctional mess of bawling, distorted horrors.
Malignancy’s trademark style of violating instruments in more ways than your imagination can fathom is in prime form throughout “Eugenics,” slapping Father Time right in the face. The entire four corners of the square–Danny Nelson, Mike Heller, Ron Kachnic, and Roger Beaujard– are together one of the most cohesive units that ever played the game. Every riff, bass line, drum beat, and guttural bellow is fully circular and dependent on the whole package to forge a large, complicated sound from its specific parts. In non-douche terms: everything works together flawlessly. Riffs that seem to have emerged from some mathematical abyss in space unceasingly fire above and below algebraic bass playing and flashy percussion algorithms that boil skin like nuclear fire; it’s insane how much stuffing lurks in each track. There is somewhat of a method to the madness, however, as much of the album boils its ingredients to maximum use, never leaving a single root depleted or overused.
Technical death metal in general seems to be a thinning field, but Malignancy has never failed to get it right. “Eugenics” is perplexing; “Eugenics” is also enjoyable. For something so complex and layered, the general key to the vault of technical death metal is merely a balance of elements without sacrificing one for the other, and that’s actually quite simple when you really think about it. Malignancy continues to defy and deny throughout “Eugenics,” and it’s a great expansion upon one of technical death metal’s finest (and unsung) heroes, the kind that reignites interest in a dying flame and remains animated in its own gruesome vision of absolute global collapse.
This review was written for: www.Thrashpit.com