Malsanctum’s bizarre, warped, self-titled debut record packs doom, black metal, destruction

Doing this site isn’t a terribly difficult endeavor, to be honest, and the fun I get bringing to readers music I personally enjoy and in which I find merit has been my way of paying back the tons of ways metal has given to me. But that doesn’t mean finding the right words and ways of description always are a breeze, hence what I’m about to do today.

See, Canadian terror unit Malsanctum are here with their stirring, divisive debut effort, and holy shit if I didn’t have a hard time taking notes on this thing. There’s no quick way to explain this band and their music to people easily and quickly. The best I can do is say it’s a buzzard’s nest of noise, black metal, and funeral doom, as well as some other shit we likely don’t have a name for quite yet. It’s made by a mysterious entity that has no names or number of members or anything else that they’re sharing with the public. No social media presence. Nothing. What we get are three songs, all of them lengthy, that are scary and nightmare-inducing, a black maze of horrors that you can’t see coming until they’re right up on you, chewing at your bones. Much of this feels like basement torture, as you choke on bile, piss, and dirt, and the person in charge of your pain does nothing but laugh and growl unintelligible words that essentially mean you’re doomed. Not sure if any of that helps at all, but just know you’ll be shaken.

“The Father” starts the record, a 10:17-long battle that begins with eerie noises, blurry, demonic lurches, and deranged howls that chew the nerve endings. Feedback blurs, while strange transmissions muddy the waters, and deliberate pounding is enough to bring pain and extreme confusion. From there, the playing lulls you into a trance, with the percussion dizzying, and a strange outro causing head tilts. “The Son” runs 9:47, and it begins with a clip about serial killers and their marriage to torture. Reminded me a bit of Dragged Into Sunlight. Grisly growls and deranged music pick up, as the playing drubs, and sludgy riffs mix blood with mud. A horrific wave of noises arrives, sickening the mind, and strange whispering sends chills down your spine, as the band goes into Portal-style death madness. Weirdness floods again, with wild cries and terror dissolving into noise acid.

“The Shattered Spirit” ends the record on a 23:49-long run that challenges you and continually rubs your face in filth. Grisly playing bubbles, with loud clangs, doomy riffs, and slow-crawling insanity chewing up the earth. The track goes cold and serene, which is almost panic inducing in its calm, and the guitars trickle over several minutes before a “True Detective” clips runs, the one where Rust painfully recounts his daughter’s death in a car accident. Out of that, drums echo, the music hits like a pained caterwaul, and cavernous pounding has its way, as anguished wails peel away at your face, and the destruction is then slowly dealt. Then, the drums ignite, a killer speaks about the opening of his victims’ throats, and a weird cosmic transmission takes over and drags us off to alien terrain.

Malsanctum’s first full foray into the world, this morbid self-titled record, is the stuff that leaves permanent psychological scarring if you’re not prepared for what you’re about to hear. This is pure audio chaos, a damned mix of different forms of noise and metal that never were meant to mix and can only be called abomination. You can hope for mercy once you’re in this band’s grasp, and you can know your mind’s chemical makeup is forever compromised.

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