Those who know me know that there’s little room for black metal on my shelf, save for blackened thrash. Picture this though: blackened industrial metal? Weird as it may sound, I’ve actually stumbled upon something that could be described as such and found it to be pretty intriguing. Even better, the band is local to my area. Earlier this year, The Destruct Principle put out a record titled The Malignant Hymn. Quite literally, picture something along the lines of Marilyn Manson or Rob Zombie, but with blast beats, tremolos, and blackened shrieking vocals.
It’s not enough to sound like Manson. If you look at the band, the makeup even bears a resemblance. Focusing on the music though, it’s one of those listens where atmosphere and effects are of grave importance. There’s an interlude track between almost every full song to tie the entire thing together in a conceptual manner. Samples such as broadcasts, exorcists, moaning women, and evil entities are mixed into the flow of the extreme tracks and more simmering tracks alike. “The Flesh Of Midnight” is one of the more simmered down songs that implements this, giving a lot to gain listener attention before breaking into something more unsettling.
On the flip side, the extreme songs are very blunt. Songs such as “A Kingdom, Collapsed” and “Self Made Slave” are drenched in lightning fast metal riffs, sometimes using tremolos, all while being showered in blast beats. Sounds pretty black metal, right? Well, the industrial aspects creep in with the usage of synthesizers and electronics to act as rhythmic assistance. Vocally, when there isn’t harsh shrieking, it’s more reminiscent of throaty talking with small hints of melody, much like Marilyn Manson, one of the obvious big influences. You’ll also find occasional chants and actual melodic singing buried beneath the surface, so there are many different angles of attack.
Satanism appears to be the main gimmick used, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Lyrically and atmospherically, there’s terror in almost every track. I’ll admit, all of the effects and constant interludes used to add to this become overwhelming and a bit much, so because of this, it’s very much a mood album. Understandably, this type of music is somewhat meant to do that, but The Destruct Principle could have stood to perhaps dial back on the tracks that are almost entirely samples, namely the longer ones. Beyond that, The Malignant Hymn is a very different release that I recommend checking out to anyone who likes industrial music or black metal. Some seriously creepy and Satanic as all hell stuff! And hey, there’s nothing like digging into bands from my own hometown.
The Malignant Hymn was released on Halloween of 2018 and can be picked up physically and digitally on their Bandcamp page.