Corrupt Moral Altar’s been offering up a blend of sludge and grindcore for the better part of eight years, and the UK band has managed to combine those genres in ways that have felt different from the norm on their two full lengths Mechanical Tidesand Eunoia. They’ve continued this on their latest EP Patiently Waiting for Wonderful Things, which snuck out towards the end of 2020 and finds the band once again delivering a sonic punch to the face with fast paced blasts and murkier grooves. With six songs that do their best to leave a trail of destruction behind them, if you have yet to hear this take on immensely heavy and spastic grind, this EP should serve as the perfect introduction.
There’s still more than enough grindcore riffing and blasting to go around, but it does feel like Corrupt Moral Altar has leaned a bit more into their other influences on this release. The result is material that rarely lets off the gas and remains heavy and filthy from beginning to end, but how the band gets there feels different from one song to the next. It’s this type of familiar yet unpredictable approach that has made these guys so appealing over the years, and it’s great to find that a shorter EP like this one retains those same qualities. “Cathedral of Porn” kicks things off with a razor sharp guitar lead and instrumentation that has more of a hardcore and noise rock slant to it, but after a minute or so the band suddenly transitions into blasting grind and the intensity goes through the roof. Some of the other tracks lean more into the sludge with extended sections that slow things down to filthier grooves before doubling back down on the faster tempos, but there are moments that stand out on each one and will keep you wanting to come back for another listen. Just when you think you’ve figured out everything the EP has to offer, Corrupt Moral Altar throws you a bit of a curveball with “Spirit Breaker” which begins and ends with a softer, atmospheric passage that’s driven by acoustic guitar and drums with intense grinding and even some colder black metal sounding blasting in between. It’s a highlight of an already consistent release and is a reminder that this band can work almost any element of metal and punk into their music.
It isn’t just the instrumentals that are able to seamlessly move between different styles without warning, as the vocals also remain unpredictable throughout Patiently Waiting for Wonderful Things. “Cathedral of Porn” greets you with high pitched screams that cut through the filthy layers of sound like a rusty knife, but there are also backing gang vocals and much lower growls that bring in a bit more of a death metal vibe when they pop up. The aforementioned “Spirit Breaker” even incorporates some singing that hovers above the blasting and caught me off guard almost as much as the jazzier drumming and guitar melodies that also appear on the song. I’ve always found when bands trade off high and low vocals in grind it adds to the appeal and keeps the intensity consistently at its maximum level, and the
The filthy sludge grooves and unrelenting grind this band has to offer continue to be as appealing as ever, but it’s the way Corrupt Moral Altar weave just about every other element of extreme metal and punk/hardcore in that gives their music an edge. The injection of some softer melodies and darker atmosphere at the end also gives a different tone than you might be initially expecting, and the fact that almost all of these six tracks take on an identity of their own makes this one stand out which is a rarity in grind. With each release these guys seem to throw even more sides of punk and metal into their songwriting and make it work, and this once again makes them one of the more exciting acts out there. Patiently Waiting for Wonderful Things is available from APF Records.
-Review by Chris Dahlberg
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