Today we have the privilege of sharing an early stream of a split 12″ LP from a well-paired duo of prime ‘old school’ death metal influenced bands, Russians GOSUDAR and Texans MALIGNANT ALTAR, each bringing gloom-ridden atmosphere to the signature sounds they’d impressed with on their respective 2021 debut full-lengths. An essential late-year release, this split will sate anyone looking for the ultimate addendum to each band’s more recent work. ‘Gosudar/Malignant Altar‘ releases this Friday, December 16th on 12″ Vinyl, Cassette Tape, Compact Disc and digitally by way of underground death metal cults Me Saco Un Ojo Records [EU] and Rotted Life Records [US].
GOSUDAR offer an abundance of pure death metal riffcraft arisen from an unshakable enthusiasm for impossibly dark classic underground sounds, lending an unpredictable yet still neck-wrecking gnarl to all of their work. All of their work thus far manages to transcend any too-specific era bringing plausible parity between the sub-genre’s peak ’93-95 mania in variation, the serpentine mind of early 2010’s dynamic grotesqueries, and all of this updated to the primordially moshable yet high fidelity edge which characterizes nowadays releases. Here we find a few ideas which should immediately gear up folks still reeling from the weirding heft of ‘Morbid Despotic Ritual‘ (2021), now leaning into a sublimely atmospheric side on “Mortified Transformation” and their twisted riff-obsessed bent on ‘Domination of Irreality”.
MALIGNANT ALTAR are given bittersweet swan song here on what is likely their final release after recently announcing they couldn’t continue due to extraneous circumstances. Don’t let that put a damper on their nails heavy contributions here, their legacy is well represented herein with jaw-chopping domination of “Malfeasance (Inexorable Enmity)” and their equally crippling cover of a defining Imprecation piece from their classic ‘Sigil of Baphomet‘ 7″. The work here isn’t cast-off but well in parity with the monolithic execution you’ll find on the recently re-pressed 2021 debut album ‘Realms of Exquisite Morbidity‘ and their also recently immortalized in vinyl demo compilation ‘Retribution of Jealous Gods‘. Anything this band ever put to tape is pro, not a messy kick in sight and in this sense you need all of it if you’ve got any of it.
For more thoughts on the split, my review is available here.
Thanks goes out to the artists, their labels and representation for the opportunity to share this brutal, month-making album early. Scroll down to the Bandcamp embed below to finalize your descent. As always do your best to support the death metal underground and grab a physical copy from Me Saco Un Ojo Records or Rotted Life Records.
Per the Press Release:
ME SACO UN OJO RECORDS and ROTTED LIFE RECORDS are proud to present a special split album between GOSUDAR and MALIGNANT ALTAR. ME SACO UNO OJO will release the split on vinyl in Europe as well as handle its digital release, while ROTTED LIFE will release the split on CD, vinyl, and cassette tape in the USA.
Two of death metal’s strongest forces will unleash a split of cataclysmic proportions. Russia’s GOSUDAR and American heavyweights MALIGNANT ALTAR spew rotten filth in unison across four tracks. Doom, death, and demolition is what this split is all about, so prepare to fester.
GOSUDAR are definitely one of the most exciting yet still-obscure death metal bands around. Hailing from Russia, they blend ferocity and gloom to give a truly sepulchral and savage atmosphere. Opening the split with a 10-minute opus of drudging, crawling, and slimy riff-craft blended to rotten perfection with meaty drumming and ghastly vocals, this is the kind of masterpiece you cannot miss if you call yourself a fan of death metal. The stomping force moves with restless progression that will entice and zombify with bludgeoning rhythms and putrefied hooks while keeping all things old school as the main focus. Managing to remain atmospheric while totally barbaric and nasty, GOSUDAR do not mess around with their A-side of atrocious heaviness. Ichorous sludge will drown all who dare to delve into the depths of decay.
MALIGNANT ALTAR have a similarly groovy nature, yet perhaps forgo some doomy moments for a more pulverising angle. Increasing the tempo with maniacal drumming and convulsive riffs, the vomitous drudge of this band is absolutely filthy while not being afraid to stampede between their odious rhythms. With a very different sound to GOSUDAR, this split harnesses two absolutely excellent bands’ strengths. MALIGNANT ALTAR’s definitely lie in their ability to be both technical and loose, never feeling overproduced or mechanical. If you survived Side A, Side B will certainly finish you off! Closing the split on with a cover of a cult classic from Imprecation is the final nail in your coffin if you are a death metal manic. Three originals and a superb cover, all on a slab of wax shared by two underground titans. Absolute carnage! [text by Jørgen Sven Kirby, Nattskog webzine]
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