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Malignant Aura – Abysmal Misfortune Is Draped Upon Me

malignant aura – abysmal misfortune is draped upon me


‘Abysmal Misfortune is Draped Upon Me’ is the debut full length album from Australia’s Death/Doom Malignant Aura. Rather old school in their formula, they avoid the typical My Dying Bride or Draconian symphonic, lush route and opt for for the more dreary reverb soaked option that is strictly guitar, drum, and growl focused. While this may seem a bit one sided the band takes this tried and true formula and does it well. The Doom elements tend to outweigh the Death Metal elements, but with the tone of the guitars and echo of the vocals, one could almost consider this album the Doom version of Bloodbath’s ‘Resurrection Through Carnage.’ It is grim, nasty, but yet still appealing without the Noisecore vibe that tends to come along with a lot of old school Doom or Death albums. Tracks like ‘Malignant Aura’ are a fine example of how the band can take slow, drawn out riffs and make them melancholic and the vocals, despite being cavernous and echoing, still come across pretty clearly. For those looking for the more faster, Death Metal side there are tracks like ‘There is Blackness in the Water’ which has much more thunderous drums and faster riffs to get more energy going, but things do slow down midway through to the typical Doom style. The only downside to this is with the slowness the riffs tend to be a bit repetitive, so after a while the morose touches tend to wear off a bit. Things do pick up though with an excellent closing to the track in Death Metal fashion though.

Aside from that track though, the rest of the album does tend to play off as a Doom soaked album. Tracks like ‘A Soliloquy Beneath the Sepulchre’ have that cleaner Disembowelment sound that just crawls along with plenty of melancholy and also epic time proportions. One thing Malignant Aura really get right in the Doom genre is the length of their tracks- many are over 8 minutes so those who are not used to long tracks might find it hard to sit through a lot of them. And with a lot of the repeated riffs on the slower tracks, such as ‘Soliloquy…’ it can be very tempting to try to skip to the next one. Thankfully the album closes on a strong, balanced Death Doom track titled ‘… and So It Was that I Lay Down Forever.’ Right from the opening riffs one can tell this is going to be a pit stomper, and even a bit of that Swedish Grave feel comes across with the tone of the vocals and guitars. There are some slow parts of course, but overall the pace of the music is much faster, and a welcome change from the more morose stylings of a track such as ‘In a Timeless Place…’ The vocals sound especially monstrous here, and there are even some spoken word parts that are reminiscent of Draconian fashion, but they do not detract from the overall atmosphere/ style nor bring in any unwanted gothic touches. This is still purely basic Death Doom. The drums are especially enjoyable with their fast bursts to add the ferocity of the music.

Overall, while Malignant Aura don’t do anything ground breaking here, ‘Abysmal…’ is a fine example of what Death Doom is all about. A little less hazy than Funeral Doom but not as mellifluous as Gothic Doom, or as simplistic as straightforward Doom, there is a certain level of morose meets ferocious on this, and plus the production is a nice balance of fuzzy but not underproduced, especially on the vocal front. For new fans of the Death Doom genre it might take some getting used to especially with the length of the tracks, but over time it gets easier. And the band does their best to mix the songs with fast and slower parts to try to and balance rather than have one side of the genre dominate the other. True, the Doom does overall outweigh the Death Metal, but certain tracks do better than others at conveying it. Fans of percussive drumming and monstrous vocals backed by lengthy riffs will find this quite the album to listen to.

Malignant Aura

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