Thursday, February 23, 2017

Malignancy - Ignorance is Bliss [demo] (1997)

As they have progressively lost me throughout the years by way of their increasing technicality, Malignancy's 1997 demo 'Ignorance is Bliss', for me, remains the band's crowning achievement.

Ignorance is Bliss sounds like some bestial offspring of Mortician and Immolation (both of whom are also Yonkers natives). The retardation of how ridiculously heavy the guitar sound is and many of the slower, more "chugging" sections immediately bring to mind Mortician while the faster and more bizarre tremolo/harmonic acrobatics remind me of Immolation. Of course everything over in Maligville is taken WAY the fuck further out into left field and the end result had me hypnotically listening over and over, etc al. At that point, in my mind, this band could do no wrong.

Unfortunately, Malignancy would opt for a more technically progressive approach as the years weaned on which, frankly, doesn't do a whole lot for me. Don't get me wrong, a few of their releases, (notably the string of 'ep's' that bridge the gap between their first and second albums) are absolutely on point, but the primal war-machine of old had clearly run its course and has sadly been left unattended and seemingly forgotten.

Trust me when I tell you... there aren't many bands aside from Bolt Thrower themselves who can so effortlessly convey images of apocalyptic battle as Malignancy had on this masterpiece. Make no mistake, though, this isn't merely a roller coaster ride through a kaleidoscope of violence and chaos. There are some genuinely haunting and moody passages clustered throughout that really place this in a category of it's own, although it could be argued that the misty graveyard sequences that pop up (most notably during 'Your Life is Shit') are some sort of inherent characteristic of bands from the Hudson River Valley (Incantation, Immolation, Morpheus Descends, etc.). This doesn't imply that Malignancy are aping their stats from other bands. Hardly. If anything, I believe there to be a case that they may very well be the most original sounding death metal band from their area, hell, the US, for that matter.