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MALSANCTUM
Metamorbid Fetishization (2014)

Metamorbid Fetishization is the debut demo tape from Canadian noisy bastards Malsanctum. I don’t care where they are from or who is in the band though, because after just one trawl of this 23-minute obscenity you’ll be wishing you never laid ears on this despicable lump. This is the sort of horrifying cacophony that we teenagers used to revel in but also fear when indulging in tape trading back in the 80s.

Malsanctum’s offering is straight from the underground and literally sounds as if it’s been copied off a friend of a friend, such is its lo-fi, underground unpleasantness. All I can really say is that we get one long, torturous track of what I’d describe as doomy, deathly blackened metal that in slow motion just rumbles in such a harrowing fashion that by the time it’s finished you’ll be left attempting to scour the walls of gritty sludge.

The press release for this rancid release mentions how Malsanctum is neither black metal nor doom metal, but these are the only styles that immediately spring to mind. First and foremost, this release is all about that primal nature; it’s raw, unkempt and just sounds like a long, drawn out garage jam involving nasty, dirty drum clanks and a down-tuned guitar discordance better suited to some funereal black metal horror show.

The vocals – if we can call them such – are mere indecipherable tortured gasps of muffled angst hidden behind that thick wall of impenetrable gloom and blackened fluff. The sound just gnaws away at the senses to the point of utmost depression. I’ve no doubt that as rusty water begins to leak from the radiators and soot drips from your nasal passages, you’ll be suffocated by such toxic waste. This is an appalling soundtrack of grinding muck, churning slurry and slow leaking filth, so it can only be described as foetid doom or drawn-out black metal sickness.

There are glimpses of fleeting haste, but so rare is it to actually observe life within this squalid terrain that by its sorry end you’ll be left drained. The intermittent vocal wails are probably the only thing slightly terrestrial to grasp onto here, but as darkest corners of music go Malsanctum have just gone and created the most pitch of all, and it will take a man as insane as this grotesque composition to peer into such inky blackness.

Is it really music? Of course it is, but it’s one that can only exist in the most miserable and noisy cavern of the psyche. Obscure is not the word for such an exercise in primitive misery, and yet I can’t and don’t want to escape this deadly, remote miasma of extreme metal.

The Metamorbid Fetishization demo cassette is available here.

Neil Arnold

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