As the weather improves and the days get longer here in the UK, I often need something to drag me right back down into the murky damp misery of life. Often, I opt for some death doom and alas that is what our Shaman has delivered upon me, in the form of the debut full-length from Australian gloom-mongers Malignant Aura. It’s cheerily titled Abysmal Misfortune Is Draped Upon Me and features killer artwork from renowned artist Paolo Girardi and is out now via Australian label Bitter Loss Records.
Wearing their influences from legendary acts like Hooded Menace, Paradise Lost, and Mourning Beloveth firmly on their sleeves, Malignant Aura introduce you to the record with traditional throat singing which transitions into this hideous rasp which tears through your speakers with delectable hideousness! The group then dredge the landscape with their massive riffs coated in a bleak layer of desolation that fits them in perfectly with their death doom contemporaries.
chock full of emotion but also skull crushing heaviness…
The title is a perfect description of the records atmosphere, the bleak sound is really ‘draped’ across the burdensome death doom the five piece push out on here. I suppose if you were looking for an example you could take the heaviness of Incantation and combine that with the atmospherics of say My Dying Bride, chock full of emotion but also skull crushing heaviness to keep you head banging while your heart wrenches! This is best showcased on the abyssal malice filled There Is Blackness In The Water which is the highlight of the record for me, the blasted section at the end is utterly savage.
What Malignant Aura do well on their first full-length is not sticking to the one sound, the doomier sections create the gloomy atmosphere and really get you caught up in the sound, then they dial up the caustic and groove by bringing that low down dirty death metal we all love into the mix. Not only does this sound awesome and crushingly heavy, it keeps the record interesting, and the listener hooked in. This record is an entire piece, not something you necessarily stick a track on and move onto something else but an album you play through from start to finish, coming out paler than before and a hella lot more miserable.
Scribed by: Matt Alexander