It seems that the main goal of modern black metal production is to sound grim and distant. Whatever “distant” means to the band aesthetically is up in the air, be it mountains of reverb, lo-fi production, or certain mixing techniques. Some bands achieve the sound by being “quiet” in the mix, with everything sitting low, but very few bands are able to achieve a sound that makes you think, “Christ, did they record this in the back of a cave?” Malthusian, a project featuring Johnny (no last name given) of Altar of Plagues, hits that sound dead-on.

Given the lineage of Altar of Plagues, one would expect any related projects to be boundary-pushing. Malthusian definitely captures a somewhat avant-garde feeling to the music without actually straying too ridiculously far from the beaten path of modern black metal. The first song made available from the band’s upcoming demo MMXIII, titled ‘Hallucinogen‘ is a whirlwind of atmospheric cacophony. The writhing and chaotic guitars and blasting technical drums are backed by what sounds like stormy field recordings. There’s just this thickness to the band’s almost psychedelic take on black metal, yet the band sounds so far away. Listen for yourself:


While MMXIII will be released in November, I have no idea how and where. I do know that the group will be doing a release show in Dublin on November 23rd. Hopefully we’ll be able to share a bandcamp stream with you next month. In the mean time, if you like what you hear, hit up Malthusian on Facebook. 

– JR


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