I understand that this album is a re-release on the basis that the original had limited exposure, as is the way when bands on a limited budget can only do so much. Now released through the Aesthetic Death label and nicely packaged, this album and band come fresh to me, as I suspect they will to many people outside of the shadowier environs of their native Worcester.
“Fresh” is the wrong word here, as this is the most rancid, deepest, darkest blackened death metal you could wish for. As Misanthropic Existence launched into the first hate-filled explosion, it occurred to me that maintaining this intensity for over an hour would be an achievement. Appropriately the first piece of artillery fire is called “Sacrificial Slaughter”. I appreciated the fact that there was no messing about between the first piece of violent battery and the next, just a continuation of the juggernaut under the delightful moniker of “Decadent, Pestilent; Piss-Sodden Sub Race”. I have duly repeated the semi-colon. It might be significant. To be honest there is too much violence, chaos and suffering for anyone to be worried about semi-colons, but you never know. A foul stench, represented by a lingering guitar, is in the air on “Kill Yourself” but as ever it all gives way to a ferocious and angry assault. In spite of the raw violence, moody guitar lines appear between the sheer wall of sound and impressive array of deathly growls and screams. The heaviness is such that it will strip paint off walls and shake buildings to their foundations.
The carnage continues, and I found myself getting lost in this maelstrom of hate. I lost track of what piece I was listening to, such is the whirlwind-like flow of “Death Shall Be Served”. Instrumentally this is not to be ignored as the band subtly introduces suggestive guitar lines. I did pick out a riff on “Rancid Vermin Flesh”, which reminded me of Impaled Nazarene, but the real joy here is being swept along in all this mass of devastation. Ok, perhaps joy isn’t the right word any more than fresh and subtle. Alarm bells sound as the track “Misanthropic Existence” builds up and imposes its weight with the industrial sound of human torture and suffering going on in the background. This track is an interest development. It’s instrumental in nature, ferociously heavy of course, driving and with a haunting suggestiveness running through it like a vein. The adrenaline-charged attack continues into “Illusory Manifest Reality”, intensifying further as if that were possible. The crashing drums and the deathly growls superimpose themselves and match the inevitably nihilistic lyrics, which you can probably guess from the track titles. And then there is silence for the first time. It is unnerving. Briefly a choir strikes up, but anarchic reality is quickly restored. “Molested by the Abrahamic Gods” has a creepy riff in the style of Emperor or Limbonic Art, but Misanthropic Existence create their own terrible atmosphere with images of suffering and flying body parts in the violent carnage which they build up skilfully.
As if this isn’t enough, there is a twelve and a half minute epic “War-Torn Earth and Blood-Soaked Skies”. Again we are torn asunder by passages about theatres of misery and depravity, and of rotting corpses. The twelve minutes fly. The musical development is that of a tale being told in an extreme but surprisingly sensitive way. Then it’s back to basics, as “Verisimilitude” is an all-out assault. Foundations shudder once more. So too “Humanicide” is like a noxious but colourful whirlwind. Misanthropic Existence maintain the same level of intensity and spitefulness throughout this work – impressive.
There’s no pretence about “Death Shall Be Served”. It’s everything it wants to be. Of course it’s not the first time that such black extremity has been released – bands like Impiety, a personal favourite of mine, Marduk and Endstille spring to mind – but I don’t care. This is just no nonsense extremity. It may not appeal to the faint-hearted, but I say this explosively energetic juggernaut of an album is creative and atmospheric in its dark and violent way.
(8.5/10 Andrew Doherty)