Review: Feed Them Death ‘The Malady’

Formed in 2017, London’s Feed Them Death‘s previous releases were essentially a one-man operation. This time however it has expanded to include a full band comprising DaviDeath on guitars, Nige on drums and long-standing original member Void on vocals, bass, lo-fi guitars, noise and piano.

Feed Them Death ‘The Malady’ Artwork
Feed Them Death ‘The Malady’ Artwork

The project has been prolific despite its relatively short lifespan with 2017’s No Solution/Dissolution EP, 2018 saw the release of their debut full-length under the same title, 2020’s Panopticism: Belong/Be Lost, the For Our Culpable Dead EP also from 2020 and 2021’s critically acclaimed Negative.

I’d been aware of Void‘s work as part of the wonderful darkwave/post-punk duo Grieving Sea whose album Donewitz made my Shaman Top 10 of 2022 and I was also drawn to the album’s cover which recalled those of Napalm Death and Brutal Truth. All of which factored into my decision to cover The Malady.

Above All gives the listener a taste of what to expect from the band, the aforementioned Napalm Death, from around the time of Harmony Corruption, is evident, as are the Misfits, what with the Earth AD style backing vocals that offer the track a melodic, gothic hue. A fantastic opener. Two Minutes Hate, a reference to George Orwell’s 1984 is far from just plain meat and potatoes extreme metal. Some of the time signatures here are dazzling and as such, it’s easy to lose track if you aren’t paying close enough attention. The band adopt jazz fusion which is something the likes of Atheist and Pestilence had done, superb.

They even use this same eccentric experimental approach on a track like Autopsy, an all-out death metal behemoth that takes its cues from ‘80s crossover and features a strangely subdued ending. Math rock meets Slayer is one way I can think of describing Deleterious, Dead Skin Mask performed by Braniac is another. This is exceptional tight playing and an absolute treat to behold.

Napalm Death, from around the time of Harmony Corruption, is evident, as are the Misfits, what with the Earth AD style backing vocals…

Them, The Guiltless slows the pace considerably with menacing noise-rock (see The Jesus Lizard) and Celtic Frost proto black metal doom and gloom that forges what is a truly mesmerising listen. The band’s jazz influences are even more pronounced on D.E.A.T.H. a fascinating spoken word led piece which also sees a little Heritage era Opeth present, what with some of the lovely Jethro Tull folky prog intonations, meanwhile The Malady has a Mr. Bungle feel (Wrath Of The Raging Easter Bunny), which possibly accounts for the track’s downright zany, over the top, fun nature.

Stygian Tide is cool crust-punk that brings to mind Disrupt and Nausea while Panopticism II, (a term used as a metaphor by French philosopher Michel Foucault to describe a type of inner surveillance whose ultimate aim is docility and utility in the system) takes us down an exciting hardcore punk route and one which also possesses traces of ‘90s groove metal.

Two More Minutes can be viewed as a sequel to Two Minutes Hate, both in terms of length as well as musicality (especially the track’s introduction), however, there are subtle differences such as the Voivod flourishes present this time round. Unlike Metallica’s The Unforgiven series that seemingly got worse each time, Feed Them Death never sacrifices the spirit of the original, it’s far subtler and more intelligent. See Hetfield and Co, that’s how you do it.

Finally …And So Below once more utilises noise-rock and dissonant death metal to produce a perfect natural concluding track. Extraordinarily it sounds epic, despite barely reaching the two-minute mark, quite a feat.

Feed Them Death have produced an album with enough aggression to both satisfy the purists but also variety aplenty to keep the likes of myself captivated.

Label: Brucia Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Spotify | Instagram

Scribed by: Reza Mills