Originally written by Ramar Pittance
Malignancy is a name I’ve always heard thrown around in metal circles, but I’ve never actually had the opportunity to hear any material. Even though I can’t say that I’ve missed out on all that much, I am glad I finally got the opportunity to hear these guys. Cross Species Transmutation is a sick little E.P. that proudly displays the sloppier side of the New York Death Metal Scene.
Lacking both the tight rhythmic consistency of NYDM peers Dying Fetus or the thrash on crack guitar styling of early Suffocation; Malignancy’s slightly left of center approach comes off as more of a Gorguts meets Immolation hybrid. Also featured is a rhythm section that rivals the venerable Cryptopsy, due mainly to the percussive madness of drummer Roger Beaujard. In fact, Beaujard himself is almost worth the price of admission. While he does let forth with the occasional hyper-blast, the emphasis is squarely focused on accentuating the band’s quirky time signatures. Basically, he’s all over the kit, and he sounds very comfortable back there. The title track is a perfect example of what it sounds like when Malignancy is clicking on all cylinders. Ron Kachnic’s meaty, harmonic-heavy riff work and Beaujard’s devious skin bashing commingle in a way that appears slightly awkward after only a cursory listen. However, after multiple spins, the jam-room comfort these two share becomes more apparent and unravels the complexity of the songs. Malignancy are nothing if not loose. As are result the songs have a far more organic feel. They are more pummeling because of it.
This is New York Death metal, though slightly off kilter New York Death Metal. The compositions are surprisingly deep and played with a sort of reckless abandon that is really endearing. The production serves only to capture what Malignancy can pull off, no more no less. The drums you hear are real, and the snare has a lot of pop. Is it an essential release? No. If you’re not a fan of Death Metal, you’d do best to stay away. Because, that’s all Cross Species Transmutation is: four guys caught on tape playing brutal death metal and doing it really well.