The classic vein of black metal is something that’s always been a tremendous thing in many ways, but it’s in many cases that many decide to stick with that sound exclusively throughout an album for one reason or another. It’s not terribly often that we see a band try to perform it alongside a different sound within the same work, and I feel that’s something we need more of since it can make for a truly potent work that can have a lot of merit to what the style is truly capable of. With their newest effort, Steingrab succeeds in doing just that.
What gets me going most about what’s been here throughout the entirety of “Malum Genesis” is how fluid it all is when it comes to stylistic decisions that we have absolutely seen before, but Steingrab pulls it all off in such a way that comes off as ingenious as downright gripping in many ways the likes. It’s the exact sort of thing that we’re seeing more of, but it’s for some reason that the potency is particularly high in this scenario as Steingrab has done a superb job at delivering their brand of scathing black metal that takes many different forms without straying too far from that original path to make “Malum Genesis” a creation that’s both incredibly diverse in many scenarios while also being true to the original spirit that Steingrab has clearly been familiar with for years. The nine tracks of this album are staggering in many ways as Steingrab manages to encapsulate virtually everything that anything close to that classic vein of the style with such competence that it’s delicious no matter what form it comes in whether it’s a voracious burst of energy that just barely doesn’t last three minutes to a slow burner that lumbers forth for nine minutes with everything else in between being just as fantastic for every reason. As a whole “Malum Genesis” is absolutely something that more of us need more of in our black metal diet since it’s that glorious middle ground that I feel all of us are very happy with even as black metal itself becomes both more traditional and more innovative as the years go on, and it’s from acts like Steingrab that will continue to hit just the right spot in the very middle that are all but satisfying.
Such works like these are far from a dime a dozen in many scenarios, but that doesn’t make them any less impactful, fresh, or important in the vast swathes of aural space that black metal commands and I cannot help but sit here and confidently say that Steingrab has planted their flag in that frontier with a true understanding of how to govern their portion of that land with utter dominance and supreme efficiency. Right from the beginning, “Malum Genesis” has everything going for it and it’s even in its simplest forms that the excellence of this work shines through with undeniable potency.
LISTEN to “Malum Genesis” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Steingrab on Facebook here.