Thursday, July 28, 2016

Malicious Birth-Asylum

In a never-ending effort to catch up on this year's releases, plus the desire to search the globe for metal music in the least likely places, the album review this time brings us to the city of Quezon City, Philippines, and the sludge/doom metal duo known as Malicious Birth. Little is known about the band beyond what is mentioned here, but they did release a demo called Paralysis Sessions last year, and with that bit of a confidence boost, they took the leap and released their first album in Asylum.

Asylum is a four track album that takes up about 36 minutes, with the longest track being "Dictator" at just under 13 minutes while around five and a half minutes is what makes up the shortest track "Mind Collapse." The opening track "Mind Collapse" lays the heaviness on with just a sampled track followed by vocals breaking the monotony around the 3:30 mark of the song. "Dictator" is a little more timely when it comes to vocals kicking in, as it begins earlier, though coming up with 13 minutes of material and mostly limited music and vocal range means that Malicious Birth has to be on top of their game. The changes in tempo are rather subtle, as the first half of the song shows, going from slow to slower to slowest, and with vocals rather sparse, it is up to the music to carry the day. The second half of the song sees the guitar taking charge on some level, driving the music up a tick. The drumming, mostly serving as a complimentary piece, starts the charge on "Samsara," a song that offers an ever-so slight change in music style. The closing track "Pointless" has a decent bass intro that leads into the band's usual sound, with vocals showing something other than low-fi screams, as they get upgraded to a higher level of sorts. Guitar strains dominate the proceedings halfway through the song before things pick back up again. While Malicious Birth doesn't break any new ground, they do show that they can play sludge doom metal competently and with some degree of tempo change, something most bands of their genre tend to forget to do. Vocals could afford to stand out more, but getting comfortable with the style is one of the things that will happen over time.

Malicious Birth draws from their surroundings for inspiration, and it shows on Asylum. Despite not breaking any new ground on the sludge doom metal scene as a whole, they do establish themselves as a band to watch. Like most bands, they do have room for improvement, but they have something to work with. For your purposes, you may check out the album on the Malicious Birth bandcamp website.

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