Malignant Altar
Realms of Exquisite Morbidity

Houston’s Malignant Altar‘s Retribution of Jealous Gods demo from 2019 perked my ears up quite a bit. I knew the band was going to be a force to be reckoned with. The 3 songs were heavy, dark n cavernous and really filthy and grimy death metal.

Realms of Exquisite Morbidity is their debut album and 6 songs in 33 minutes is the perfect length. Well the interlude “Realms” is like a waste of 2 minutes. I’d actually rather have had a real song. Regardless that’s my only gripe on the album as “Channeling Impure Apparitions” comes in with a creepy bell sounding the alarm. Thunderous drums and fans of Incantation will no doubt love this. The plodding riff which enters is so damn heavy. A few different melodies thrown in as the rumbling almost Bolt Thrower-ish comes in to destroy your bones before the song gets to that heavy slow down that goes into a faster passage. The 2.30 slow down with killer 90’s style vocals erupt and this moment with the drums and slower moment is one of the best on the album. Nice cymbal hits where the vocalist growls on point each time before a killer old school death metal speed enters, double pounding and then ripping into a killer beat. It’s lunacy. The slow down after the blast with the ethereal guitar solo appears to have been recorded in hell. The solo picks up speed and then the heavy rumbling erupting next is brutal dark n grimy bliss. Now that’s folks is how you open your debut album.

“Usurping the Pantheon Crown” with the out of control double bass speed will rip your head off. The guitar melodies add to the monstrosity this song is. The start n stop slow down doom death approach which erupts is so gosh darn terrific a tear streams down this writer’s face. I’m like this band has barely been around but THEY GOT IT!!!!! The rumbling heaviness with the tank tread double bass will remind you of some Asphyx too. The speed picks up with a guitar solo then into a mid paced I’m gonna lip your head off moment. Excellent drum rolls and a quick mention the snare drum is great. Organic, old school n natural. Love this part. Then some blast beats. The song is not over when it sounds like it may be. Hang in there for the plodding deathly doom moment enter. Holy poop on a stick this riff is ungodly. The drumming is great with the flip flopping double bass and listen for that fuzzy bass guitar. What’s killer is this song ends and “Belial Rebirth”, the longest song here, starts with fuzzy bass guitar right off the jump. Similar to Mortician like heaviness. The song rumbles before the blast beat and the barking vocals will murder your soul as if Ronnie Garvin “The Man with the Hands of Stone” is using your face like a speed bag like he would do in 1982 in Atlanta’s early NWA wrestling days. Regardless we get a meandering of tempo that goes into an Incantation stylized riff and it sounds like 1992 all over. Faster moments and then solos and then right into this doom death metal crawl with phenomenal guitar melodies and then a terrific rhythm section with captures the listeners attention. This part is one of the best in all of metal for 2021. It’s memorable, beyond heavy and tight but also catchy.

Outside of the interlude the other 2 songs are also grand slams in my book. I must mention the Holy Shit moment is “Ceremonial Decapitator” at the 4.31 part. The song stops. But it’s not over. An amazing fuzzy bass guitar slide comes in and is isolated as it’s played brilliantly as drums and guitars enter and the buildup and then into the dirge like heaviness really levels cities from the USA to all the way to Finland, if you can believe this.

Realms of Exquisite Morbidity from beginning to end is excellent. Malignant Altar is special. Playing a 90’s era doom death, but sounding fresh due to their own nuances and spins they put on this style. The fact this album is played with such deliberate and tight conviction really ears this as one of my favorite albums all year and I’ve listened to this album at minimum 50x already. The production is great and with music this heavy and dense the mix is perfect because nothing is buried, which sometimes tends to happen with this death metal style. Buy or Die!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
December 9th, 2021

Comments

  1. Commented by: CM

    Hands of stone!


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