The unhinged onslaught of Malformity’s new 7″ is a brutal but refreshing blast that hearkens back to the heyday of death metal. Technical sensibilities and creepy ambience take a back seat to an all-out attack on The Rapturous Unraveling, proof that even though the band has undergone some lineup changes since their formation in 1991, the guts and gore of the crew remains the same. It’s been over 20 years since the band first dissolved, but their long, winding journey back to the land of the living has sharpened their fangs. The riffs and beats remain as wild and chaotic as they were on the group’s six-track demo in 1995, but the band isn’t willing to be relegated to some death metal museum (it’s not a thing, I checked). The vocals on the 7″, especially on A-side punisher “Rapturous Damnation,” are drier and less claustrophobic than the cuts from earlier material, an evolution which fits with the band’s decision to pull some riffs the ‘80s thrash toolbox. Still, this release is as sonically grating and thematically challenging as one would expect from Malformity.
Apart from being an appropriately punishing slab of wax, The Rapturous Unraveling is a convenient reminder of the importance of local juggernaut Boris Records. The niche label has released some of the best thrash, doom, black metal, and death metal to come out of Atlanta in the past five years, and in the process has challenged the weirdly persistent idea that sludge is the only metal worth listening to in Georgia. If you need further evidence, check out the 2018 Boris Records showcase at the EARL tomorrow night. In addition to Malformity, the stacked bill features Cesspool, whose 2014 album Septic Entombment was recently reissued by Boris, grody grind boys Repulsory, and Death of Kings, who will celebrate with the release of the long-awaited vinyl edition of last year’s pulverizing Kneel Before None LP.
The 2018 Boris Records Showcase goes down tomorrow night, Jan. 13, at the EARL. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $10. 21+ to enter.