ALBUM REVIEW: “Demo 2020” by Malignant Rot (Austin)


Vol. IX

Malignant Rot – logo art by Steve Crow & Mike Majewski / image taken from @malignantrottx

“Demo 2020” EP release by Malignant Rot—a review

by Ryan Vasquez

When I first met Cody Hancock (vocalist/guitarist/drum prog) and Doug Bell (bass/backing vocals) after a live performance only a few months ago in Austin, it was as if I witnessed two different people completely.

There was Cody and Doug off stage—two humble, extremely chill dudes that like to talk metal, enjoy a good silly moment for a laugh and stand pit-side to get lost in the chaos for their brothers-in-metal. And then there was the version that took the stage that night and brought their EP to life.

This is what brings me here today.

Malignant Rot 2021: (L) Doug Bell – bass/backing vocals & (R) Cody Hancock – vocals/guitars/drum prog / image: Ryan Vasquez / venue: Come and Take It Live Austin, TX

I never did ask what these two did for a living, or where else they spent their time doing what. Cody did mention, however, that it had been seven years since this project made a presence in the circuit. I was expecting a train wreck but instead got ran the f**k over by one.

Even though there isn’t an artistic cover for the demo just yet, the music gave a face for the band. And this ugly, scary-lookin’ hairy-ass bastard of a beast had everyone’s attention that night, as well.

Malignant Rot – “Demo 2020” cover art / image: Ryan Vasquez

We begin with “Planetary Assimilation,” where I felt on overwhelming need to let the caveman out. I’m actually >2% Neanderthal according to my 23 and Me, and this song helped surface every bit of it.

Even with the missing presence of an actual drummer, their old school death -style drum programming combined with those carnivorous riffs made an interestingly savage first impression.

Noteworthy of this track, there is this one riff at the 1:45 mark where the post-intro bridge riff at 1:20 is taken and modified to a more simplistic groove. I’m absolutely feelin that riff to the point where I wanna stomp around too, much like bassist D. Bell on stage at that point.

Malignant Rot 2021 @ Come and Take It Live Austin, TX / image: Ryan Vasquez

Those of us that are fans of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia will take particular interest in the second track, “Visceral Ravaging,” and recognize in the 30 second intro the soundbite of “Frank Reynolds” (Danny DeVito) with the infamous “I got a question about you Morticians…/a dead body is like a piece of trash” scene. F**king classic, I already like where this is going.

The riff may not be that aggressive here, but with the support of the vocals in this track, this song is absolutely disgusting and I’m making a mean face just thinking about it again.

Another noteworthy riff in this track, at the 2:10 mark they play a set of chords that flow with the beat then drive it into a repeat bar. Maybe it’s the way it slows down the pace and adds a groovy transition just before getting primal again that gives this track it’s musical uniqueness and displays their signature method of composition writing.

Malignant Rot 2021 @ Come and Take It Live Austin, TX / image: Ryan Vasquez

I was surprised, I was amazed, I was disgusted and I was a little buzzed by the end of this set. Aside from my sudden interest to discover fire and these mysterious cravings for sabre-tooth tiger, this demo deserves two devil horns in the f**kin air with great anticipation for a full length or follow-up.

If you’re into bands such as Deeds Of Flesh, Disgorge and Malignancy then I recommend you check out “Demo 2020” from Malignant Rot—it’s officially Pit-tested, RoM approved.

To pick up a copy of the demo, visit their bandcamp page here. To sample track 1. Planetary Assimilation, check out the YouTube upload here. For more info on the band, shows and merch, visit their Facebook page here.

Author: Republic Of Mosh-Texas Underground Journal

I am a freelance writer with a passion for the underground metal music scene in Texas. I studied advertising and mass communication at Texas State University in San Marcos and Radio & TV at Del Mar College-Corpus Christi. I've been jumping in mosh pits all across Texas since I was a kid and now it is my goal to create the most informative and widely recognized publication for the Texas underground. I have a son (Vicente) and a daughter (Valentina) and currently live in Austin, Texas.

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