01. Channeling Impure Apparitions 02. Usurping the Pantheon Crown 03. Belial Rebirth (Metempsychosis) 04. Realms of Exquisite Morbidity 05. Ceremonial Decapitator 06. Rite of Krasue
He probably won't thank me for saying it, but the presence of Dobber Beverly on a record is a pretty firm guarantee of quality. MALIGNANT ALTAR can be enthusiastically added to the Texan's impressive resumé, which already features OCEANS OF SLUMBER, NECROFIER and the legendary INSECT WARFARE, among many other projects. As with all of the aforementioned, this latest dive into the dark is the work of a bona fide band, not some mere side project, and "Realms of Exquisite Morbidity" resounds with clarity of vision and a self-evident, shared devotion to old-school death metal that should warm the heart of any ageing misanthrope. Or to put it more simply, this is absolutely fucking filthy.
Neither slaves to a 30-year-old sound nor victims of modernity's sterile edge, MALIGNANT ALTAR have struck a superb balance between disgust and destruction here. Guitar tones are corrosive and treacly, Beverly's drums are laudably live sounding but punch as hell, and vocalist Wilson Prevette sounds very much like something blank eyed and bloodthirsty that has just emerged from a nearby swamp. Opener "Channeling Impure Apparitions" is an unholy joy: six minutes of suppurating malevolence, with welcome echoes of INCANTATION at their excoriating best, and some of the ugliest riffs of the year. "Usurping the Pantheon Crown" is even better, as MALIGNANT ALTAR notch up the intensity with riffs that reek of mid-'90s Scandinavia, bursts of feral, black metal speed and a final, crippling descent into death-doom oblivion. "Belial Rebirth" hoovers up a handful of BOLT THROWER's magical war dust, switching from slow-motion torrents of sludge to rabid explosions of jagged spite.
Again, the prevailing atmosphere is one of heroically blasphemous filth, and MALIGNANT ALTAR revel in every foul, unpolished second. Heaviest of all, "Ceremonial Decapitator" somehow combines the lumbering, ragged gait of AUTOPSY with the barreling, inexorable pomp of MORBID ANGEL: it's a masterful piece of death metal songwriting, and its final riff will give you nightmares. The closing "Rite of Krasue" is very nearly as potent, with its barrage of atonal scree and several more righteous keeper riffs.
Somehow, despite all that gruesome majesty, 34 minutes does not feel like enough. This is yet another true-to-the-bone death metal gem for the old-school purists to drool over, but it is also record with its own idiosyncratic and deeply warped personality. And yeah, the guy playing the drums is a certified badass.
BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).