EP Premiere: Bloodletter – Malignancy
In canopy’s shadow, a vine weaves through a human skull. It hosts a multitude of thorns; their crimson hue echoes the violence that occurred in this place. No matter the master of these discarded bones, they now serve an unintended purpose: protecting roots. Bloodletter have a long way to climb out of the undergrowth, but they’re a band of opportunists—borrowing, repurposing, growing into themselves. Join me now, amidst the flora, for an exclusive stream of their re-recorded Malignancy EP.
The charnel sound of crows rings in a brief intro, and we find ourselves in a dark wood. “Reputation for Cruelty” is at once familiar and foreign, a mix of triumphant power metal and deathly trem riffs. Bloodletter harvests ideas from melodeath greats like At the Gates throughout the EP, grafting modern production and extremity to old-growth genres. From quasi-blasts à la Arsis (“Skullsplitter”) to the burly attitude of Kill ‘Em All (“Blackest Mass”), these 12 minutes of Malignancy showcase a band with both a deep reverence for their forebears, and confidence in their own songwriting capabilities. After all, starting the title track of your EP with blatant “Painkiller” worship and proceeding to make a song in your own name requires a certain audacity.
Isn’t homage what makes metal fun in the first place? It’s a sprout of a genre, a mote in the history of music—you can often hear the influence of previous generations because there are still so many branches left to grow. Vocalist/guitarist Pete Carparelli had the following to say regarding the band’s blooming:
We made the original Malignancy (2014) recordings in our homes, and while we were happy with the songwriting, we felt that the songs deserved to be heard with better production. We wanted a sound closer what we had envisioned for ourselves and have grown into. We’re a different band from what we were when we started, so we wanted to make sure that Malignancy was given the same treatment our newer releases had.”