Nov 30, 2011

A Loathing Requiem "Psalms of Misanthropy" Review

Genre: Technical/Brutal Death Metal
Label: Self Released
Release Date: 2010

Malcolm Pugh has never been a man of half measures. Fans already familiar with him know his work in the fantastic band Inferi and for a guest appearance on the amazing album “Our Cursed Rapture” by Enfold Darkness. The guitar work exhibited on those albums by Mr. Pugh has never been anything but phenomenal and this time out, on his completely solo venture “Psalms of Misanthropy” under the moniker A Loathing Requiem, Malcolm Pugh proves himself to be one of the singularly most talented musicians on the heavy metal scene today. All the instruments on this album were handled by Malcolm Pugh and all the instruments are masterfully handled. The opening track “Annihilation Induced by the Luminous Firestorm” display crushing drum sections, sinister vocals and guitar work and solos that would give Dragonforce a run for their money. Showing not only a talent for technical work, Malcolm proves he can do brutal all by himself with slamming interludes on such tracks as “Rapturous Euphoria” and “And Darkness Was Cast”. The entire album rings of a cohesive sound that is no doubt partially caused by the single musician working away on the entire work. “Psalms of Misanthropy” is a dense work and will most assuredly require most listen once or twice to hear not only the unrelenting brutality of the music but the more subtle technical aspects. Tracks like “False Gods Render Death” and “Carnage of the Infinite Black” are brutal this is true but there is much more to the music as listeners can hear, the blistering music has a very skilled technical sound to it rather than the sound of many brutal bands turning the volume to 10 and chugging away.

Malcolm Pugh proves capable of that on this album over and over but certainly does not short sell himself to merely pounding his fans’ eardrums relentlessly but gives those willing to listen and absorb the music a chance to hear his titanic skills. And this is not just the case with the guitar work; any facet of this album can be chosen and displayed as a thing of death dealing beauty. The drums hammer away at cascading speeds that fit the guitar work perfectly on songs like “Ecliptic Realm” and “Architect or Arsonist”, but to choose the standout tracks on this album is a nigh impossible task, as all the tracks on this album standout and that in a way is the magic of Malcolm Pugh. His talents are so widely showcased on this album and all the others he appears on and through all that exposer the countless times he has proven himself a talented musician, it never gets old, every time through listening to any of his work there is not once a dull moment and “Psalms of Misanthropy” is no different in that regard. A Loathing Requiem is certainly nothing new for fans of Malcolm Pugh but that can hardly be a complaint on the debut album. No comfort zones are stepped out of, no barriers pushed, and yet, “Psalms of Misanthropy” also leaves no listener unsatisfied.

Rating: 5/5
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