Engrossed in Decay

You know that meme of the kid with the “stank face?” That’s what the new album by Molder (I hardly know her), Engrossed in Decay makes me do for nearly 50 minutes. It’s that hoped-for but ultimately unexpected style of filthy. The kind of nastiness not unlike the time you hooked up in the back seat of your car with that girl you met at the show only to discover the next morning an unwelcoming smell wafting as you open your car door getting ready to go to work… and that doesn’t even cover the fluids you’re going to have to clean up. For the love of Satan, DO NOT USE YOUR TONGUE!

Or do. It’s your life, do whatever floats your penis. Either way, you don’t regret it.

Anyway, let’s get down to business. After a suitably murky opening track, the first real standout on this sickening sumbitch is the title track, “Engrossed in Decay.” Tom G. Warrior himself would be proud of the opening riff and the “OUGH” that comes along. However, I must say on the first several listens this song sounds a lot like John Tardy fronting Tomb Mold. Every riff here will get you moving, though.

The songs here sound fresh, although of course a little moldy, and dare I say, fun? Take for example “Huff the Stench,” which could refer to my opening paragraph. The first half of the song can only be described as a dirge, but the second half picks up the speed significantly, almost leading up to another “OUGH” before the song concludes.

The more I listen, the more frontman Aaren Pantke sounds like Martin Van Drunen, not John Tardy, which speaks more to his variance in shouts within the same style and is no insult. However, he does have the tendency to just make sounds, a lot like the legendary Obituary frontman, sometimes leaving long periods between any vocals at all and allowing the instrumentals to breathe, as in track 9, “Decomposed Embryos,” which has several of those “OUGHs” and “AHHs” before the vocals really take off about a minute and a half in.

After that, the closer, “Cask of Maggots,” of course the longest track, riffs your face off for 2 minutes before actual vocal lines come in. However, this song has a hook, believe it or not. With dirty riffs and suitably slimy solos, as well as a filthy, yet still stellar guitar tone standing out, this is the perfect way to close out the album.

This album caught me by surprise and is most certainly my favorite to come out in this nasty death metal style in some time, certainly my favorite this year. As I mentioned previously, this is nearly 50 minutes, but every single time I listen, I feel like it flies by in about a half hour. This is a strong contender for OSDM album of the year, and I hope these guys come around on tour as I’m sure they kill it live.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
July 11th, 2022


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