Released: Nove, Hass Weg Productions
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Formed in 2003 in the South East of France, black metal outfit Malmort have been working away at their second full length release Excerpta Funebris. After a shifting of band members and hiding in the shadows under Hess Weg Productions, Malmort have grown and refined their sound offering up a dark and dismal soundscape.
In comparison to their first full release Vox in Excelso (2012), Excerpta Funebris moves away from the thrash influenced simplicity present in the riff structure and percussion to a more complicated arrangement. They continue the medieval theme with the lyrics centred on loss and isolation, however the melodic elements are emphasised and combined with a more incorporated drum style to deliver a sound more indicative of traditional black metal.
The opening track ‘Las! Mort, Qui T'A Fait Si Hardie’ sets the tone for the album, starting with a simple melodic riff then drawn out chords and the slow build up of instrumentation and energy until the vocals are introduced. The production is gritty and Reicheran's vocal delivery has been refined to a more consistent tone than the previous releases. As the album progresses the pace intensifies and the third track ‘Les écorcheur’ provides us with an insight into their hard work, demonstrating more precision and tighter form.
Increased speed and drum fills keep the pace pushing forward until an atmospheric break when their 4th track ‘Moribundus’ brings slow melodic rhythms overlaid by an array of spoken word, screams and death cries. This vocal theme continues through to the next track where the pace is once again increased. The final track, 'La Grande Danse Macabre’ summarises and closes the album with a journey through previous themes, where melancholic passages are interspersed with faster drum paces and melodic riffs to create the atmosphere of the song’s title.
The album contains a few weaker moments but Excerpta Funebris feels more mature than the previous release. It sounds like Malmort have worked together on their collaboration and the music shows an improved technical ability. If the band continues along this trajectory then they could deliver a raw, melodic style that would set them apart from the rest. I look forward to hearing what comes next.
Review by Helen Collins