The third full length album from the Brazilian black metal maestros, Carpatus was released on February 20th 2017 via Black Lion Records.
Black metal seems to come from two different camps nowadays. On one side you have the experimental stuff that draws from the past but throws in quite a lot of interesting & new ideas with high production. On the other side it’s all about the old school sound, rough but dripping with hatred & angst.
Both have their positives & negatives, both have their supporters & detractors but most importantly both have their place within the wider metal sound.
Carpatus’s new album Malus Ascendant falls mainly into the second of the two sides above. It’s furious sounding black metal, blackened riffs with guttural, phlegm filled vocals all wrapped up in surprisingly catchy beats.
Rites of Fire and Blood, The Cold Autumn Sunrise, Aeon Damnation…the first three songs are just killer & there is no looking back after that start. It’s uncompromising black metal, designed to dull the senses & darken the mood.
Flames to Eternity is where things take a big step forward though. The opening builds in volume all backed up by monk-like changing. When vocalist Dizruptor chimes in he somehow sounds more disgusted & furious then before. He spits & snarls his way through the incredible song helped by an absolutely thumping drum beat.
At the mid-point the guitars take centre stage briefly throwing out a blistering solo before the song drops completely into an acoustic melody & the sounds of crows cawing. It’s unexpected but just amazing to hear especially when it suddenly erupts back into unabashed devastating metal. A song that sells this album on its own.
It’s far from over though. A Missa Funebre is near 5 minutes of aggressive, in your face metal. The slight tempo changes & churning guitar riffs help it stand out from the pack. While From a Dreadful Past is a great reminder of just how much atmosphere Malus Ascendant has throughout. The second best track on the album, its opening minute & a bit is stunningly uplifting but without compromising the dark sound that pours from the record.
This amazing album ends on the slightly slower paced, more gothic tones of Behold The Mournful Nature. Transfixing in its brutal style, it’s the kind of punishment that you never want to end, the kind that needs a safe word. As a closer to Malus Ascendant, it doesn’t quite capture the imagination in the same way as what has come before. However it succeeds in giving you the feeling that the journey has ended.
Malus Ascendant Full Track Listing:
1. Rites of Fire and Blood
2. The Cold Autumn Sunrise
3. Aeon Damnation
4. Flames to Eternity
5. A Missa Funebre
6. From a Dreadful Past
7. Behold the Mournful Nature
Malus Ascendant is out now & available to buy & stream through most music platforms. It can also be picked up via Bandcamp here. You can find out more about the band through Facebook & over on YouTube.
Carpatus - Malus Ascendant (Black Lion Records)
- The Final Score - 9/109/10