In his ‘Essay on the Principle of Population’, Thomas Malthus argued that, sooner or later, population growth – which generally expanded in times of plenty – would be checked by famine and disease: he referred to these as “positive checks” (which raise the death rate, while “preventative checks”, such as birth control, lower the birth rate), with the result being what subsequently has become known as a “Malthusian catastrophe”.
The bleakness of such a prospect is very much at the centre of the sound pummelled forth by this quartet from Dublin, who take their name from the theorem developed by the 18th century cleric. Malthusian are creating quite a buzz on the southern side of the Irish border, and it is not hard to see (or should that be hear?) why, with this assured and extremely impressive debut demo (released initially only as a limited edition cassette, but with CD and vinyl versions due soon).
It is a dark, claustrophobic sound, very much based in traditional doom but also incorporating, to great effect due to the sparsity of their use, elements of death metal, especially in the atmospheric and purgatorial vocals. The performances are solid and meticulous, with a depth which many more experienced acts fail to achieve, and the three songs (which total just short of 25 minutes) are dense, brutal and delivered with a simplistic ease which belies their inner complexity.
In fact, it’s hard to believe that this a demo, such is its assurity and confidence, which is aided by a superb production, which adds a clarity and lucidity to the overall feel.
The Mother’s Blade
Recommended listening: ‘Wraith/Plague Spore’
‘MMXIII’ is available from Invictus Productions: http://invictusproductions666.bandcamp.com/album/demo-mmxiii