Premiere: Malthusian — “MMXIII”

Malthusian’s MMXIII is a demo, but you’d be forgiven if you thought it was the work of a band with a deeper catalogue—MMXIII slays with both force and polish, and drives an avant garde sound on the back of thick, discordant chugging riffs. While Malthusian may be a new band, the musicians behind the black/death/doom hydra are anything but green. Members of Wreck of the Hesperus, Mourning Beloveth, On Pain of Death and the now-defunct, already sorely missed Altar of Plagues make up Malthusian, which, like their brethren, hails from Ireland.

The three tracks on MXIII are bestial and grating, yet rich and complex—this is thinking man’s metal just as much as it is primitive blunt trauma. The name Malthusian comes from the British scholar and man of the cloth Robert Malthus, who predicted an ugly end for humanity in what is known as the Malthusian catastrophe: at a certain point in the propagation of the human race, population growth will outpace agricultural production, leading to a collapse of society and a return to subsistence-level existence. In other words, like at least one of his more prickly predecessors, Malthus perhaps thought life in the future would be poor, nasty, brutish and short—and the world’s population was hovering around the now-quaint billion mark when he died in 1834. What he didn’t foresee were leaps in technology that would circumvent his dire predictions. In an interview with Metal Ireland, Malthusian addresses its namesake, and says that we can expect a fuller exploration of Malthus’s influence on their next release, which, I hope, you will look forward to as much as I do once you listen to the MXIII stream below.

You can preorder MXIII from the Invictus Productions web store—act quickly, the tape is limited to 300 copies. A CD version will be available down the line, and a vinyl option is being considered.

— Wyatt Marshall