Undergang have become masters of a particular kind of lean and mean audio horror, one that is simultaneously brutish and primitive, atmospherically morbid and grotesque, mercilessly destructive, physically jolting, and virally infectious. They write compact songs that are nevertheless dynamic in their pacing and rhythmically varied. And they execute their strategies just as masterfully as they have conceived them.
All of these talents are powerfully on display in this Danish band’s new album Misantropologi, which will be released by Dark Descent Records on June 23, and today we have the privilege of bringing you the streaming premiere of all 10 tracks.
Undergang’s weapons of destruction include disgustingly dirty, downtuned riffs; rumbling, booming, bounding, and generally skull-splintering drum munitions; massive, gravel-chewing bass lines (courtesy of new bassist Sam Osborne from Funebrarum); and the kind of foul, gut-level growls and gurgles that are so subterranean they sound as if they’re emanating from the diseased, roiling bowels of the earth itself.
These are potent weapons, but they could still be mis-used. In the hands of lesser songwriters, they could be deployed in a way that would test a listener’s patience, devolving into monotony. There’s no chance of that on this album. Perhaps first and foremost, these songs are loaded with dismal melodic hooks and compulsive rhythms. And, as noted above, the tracks display a wonderful dynamism despite their relative brevity.
Jolts of chugging groove are juxtaposed against slow, sickening, doom-stricken dirges. Rampaging assaults of near-chaotic destructiveness segue into grisly pile-driving stomps; d-beat romping turns into the sounds of mechanized warfare on a terrible battlefield.
Undergang have also added other nuances that further enhance the attention-grabbing qualities of a full run through the album. By way of example, a haunting, bereaved guitar melody surfaces fluidly in the midst of an otherwise body-mangling, brain-carving bout of demolition work in “Skåret I Småstykker”. A piano opens “En Bedemands Bekendelser”, which leads to a desolate, moaning but immediately memorable melody. And there’s more, as you’ll discover.
To cap everything, the band finish the album with a cover of “The Chasm” by the late, lamented Finnish band Disgrace. Which makes perfect sense.
In a nutshell, this is top-shelf death metal terror, as vibrant and highly infectious as it is cold-blooded and rotten to the core. And you’d better loosen your neck muscles before you start listening.
Anders Pedersen – Drums
Sam Osborne – Bass
David Mikkelsen – Guitars & vocals
Misantropologi was recorded in Earhammer Studio with Greg Wilkinson in late July and early August 2016. The cover artwork was created by David Mikkelsen (obviously, a man of many talents).
The album will be released by Dark Descent Records digitally and in CD format, and can be pre-ordered via the link below. A vinyl edition will be released by Me Saco Un Ojo, and a cassette tape edition by Extremely Rotten Productions.