Below the Hengiform

Hailing from Ireland Malthusian’s Below the Hengiform is their debut EP released by Invictus Productions. Ireland has definitely been producing some extreme metal acts in recent years with artists like Primordial, Altar of Plagues (whose members are now in Malthusian) and Abaddon Incarnate to name a few. In listening to Malthusian’s first demo MMXIII it’s interesting to hear the progression between their demo and this their first EP. Malthusian’s sound is clearly more polished with Below the Hengeform but also a continuation of the same style that was present on MMXIII.

Below the Hengiform opens with “The Gasless Billows”, which is a dirgy, nine-minute that has elements of veteran U.S black/death doom metal artists Incantation but with maybe more technical guitar phrasing akin to a group like Immolation.  Make no mistake about it Malthusian are able to invoke excellent compositions with Below The Hengiform.  I like the chord choice on much of this EP. Malthusian do a wonderful job of create feeling with their note selection.

“Slouching Equinox” seems to paint a horrific atmosphere with hallucinogenic brooding riffing and vile vocal passages that tie in well with the funeral procession styled drum work, which seems to build towards a dissonant conclusion.  “Slouching Equinox” is executed to black/death perfection.

“Forms Become Vapor” reminds me of Portal in terms of the guitar chord structure.  It does not sound like Malthusian are using eight string guitars but rather trying to create feeling with the use of contrasting guitar lines with one being the driving pulse and the other performing a strong tremolo line over it.  “Forms Become Vapor” builds very well in creating an intense sense of discomfort as it transitions.

Malthusian’s Below The Hengiform is indeed a well-done debut.  I am definitely left wanting more in that the twenty-four minute journey seems to pass fairly quickly but I think that speaks to the way this EP is arranged.  Malthusian’s future seems to be on the right path and I look forward to hearing where Malthusian’s sound takes them. They have laid down a solid groundwork with this release and the MMXIII demo.  Ireland continues to produce thought provoking metal acts from wide variety of genres and Malthusian adds to the overall depth and I look forward to their future releases.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick K
June 24th, 2015


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