Not too long ago I reviewed these Finn’s second demo, released earlier this year. ‘Unearthly Death’ was a demo that was not only a clear step up from their first attempt, the key thing was that it was filled to the brim with pure old schoolism. In recent weeks, as the first digital singles of what would become their Prosthetic Records-released debut album appeared, my curiosity intensified to hear what these youngsters had ended up making of it…
While the Morbid Angel vibe is still very much present on this debut album, ‘Entering The Gateways’ sounds like it strayed a bit away from that (maybe a bit too) obvious sound. Instead they seem to have opted to incorporate a bit of that Incantation sound into their music, making things a little more balanced when it comes to their intricate way of song writing and a slightly more straight-forward and depth-seeking approach of the genre. In the end, if drawing musical parallels are really required, Disguised Malignance might have most in common with Immolation.
Although this might sounds like a recipe for yet another “cavernous” Death Metal band, the Finns definitely have something else to offer. Not only do they stay away from that wall-of-blubber-and-no-skills sort of approach, their way of song crafting is completely different and shines in more variety and dynamics. That is not only found in some obvious tempo changes, but even more so in some almost progressive sort of passages that seem to creep into some of the songs. Especially towards the end of the album (take a listen to the great ‘Disengagement Into Eternity’), they start to sound like a band that could make a perfect fit to the current 20 Buck Spin (or Prosthetic Records, for that matter) roster: technical, progressive but still utterly HEAVY Death Metal.
I would not say Disguised Malignance fits the same frame of bands like VoidCeremony or Tomb Mold, but these Finns certainly have something to offer in terms of unorthodoxy while also clearly remaining within the boarders of most people’s tastes in Death Metal. Oh yes, I know that sounds contradictory, but that’s the whole point. In short: ‘Entering The Gateways’ is a very strong debut album by an equally promising band.