REVIEW: Alighieri – The Malignant Pulse [EP/2012]

Artist: Alighieri

Album: The Malignant Pulse [EP]

Rating: 9.5/10



More or less, everyone as given some thought to the music they want played at their funeral. Whether it’s a slow, dismal dirge to accompany your coffin down the aisle, or a rollicking, aggressive tune for your “Irish wake,” it’s one of those details which seems all-important (never mind the fact that you won’t be there to enjoy it.) Californian progressive deathcore quartet Alighieri and their latest release, The Malignant Pulse, provide a stellar, unique, albeit brief mix of doom-laden, down-tempo hardcore and shredding, hard hitting death metal and grind to create a crushing EP which would turn Ghandi’s funeral into a primal mosh-fest.

Amongst all of the unique weapons at Alighieri’s disposal, the most effective is the hard-hitting, down-trodden sludge that surrounds their sound. Whether it’s propelled by droning, pounding drums in “Offering Gown” or the muddy, anti-ethereal guitar that keeps “Slave to Lust” anchored firmly in the gruesome, The Malignant Pulse is a consistently heavy and guttural effort. The sheer crushing nature of the doom-tinted, slam-influenced deathcore that Alighieri supply is destined to leave the listener’s eardrums battered and flattened, as the bulldozing percussion and crown-clearing guitar combine to leave little in the way of survivors.

The icing on the filth-encrusted cake that is The Malignant Pulse is the vocal attack which creates an auditory finishing blow to the listener. Filled with gut wrenching anger and pure, volatile misanthropy, Alighieri’s harsh yells and guttural bellows provide perfect company to the heavy, brutal music which serves as their canvas. “Slave to Lust” and “A Ravenous Climax” both feature climactic, spine crushing, skull-splitting breakdowns which serve as idyllic culminations of vocals, lyrics and instrumentals functioning together as one, planet-devouring machine, establishing a dynamic as unique as the blend of genres from which it sprang.

Alighieri’s unique dynamic is one of ferocious, visceral aggression and dragging, down-tempo dirge-like segments. When the drums aren’t roaring alongside the vocals at a breakneck pace, the doom-influenced heavy hardcore segments are meant to serve as a rest or reprieve. However, even this “rest” is hardly a relief, as rather than being smashed against concrete, the listener is instead treated to a slow drag through a bed of nails and broken glass. In this sense, Alighieri simply transition between two different kinds of heavy, rather than giving the listener a break from the brutality altogether.

If you’ve given any thought to the music that will keep your family company while you’re being hoisted into the ground, put Alighieri’s The Malignant Pulse on your list. While it’s a tad shorter than one might like, it is still twenty minutes of non-stop skin-rending,ear-gouging, skull-splintering doom-laden deathcore which will leave the battered and broken listener begging for more.


For Fans Of: Curl Up and Die, Gaza, An American Shootout


By: Connor Welsh/Eccentricism