Review Summary: When thrash and death metal blend together.......
Malefice are a British metal band from Reading, England, formed in 2003. They play thrash metal influenced death metal and sometimes even have some progressive metal influence in their sound. Dawn Of Reprisal
is their second full length and is a definite step up from their first album, Entities
. Malefice has a lot more mature and worked-out sound on this album and they have improved their music in general. Dawn Of Reprisal
is much better sounding and is unified all around.
Dawn Of Reprisal
offers the listener a strong punch of death metal combined with thrash metal. The member that grabs the listeners attention first, will probaly be vocalist Dave Butler. Most of the album he screams, shouts and growls. At times though, he enters into a small clean vocal part (see choruses of "End of Days" and "Hatred Justified") which showcases that he can actually also sing very well. During these small clean breaks, he keeps the tension up well, and even manages to hit some higher notes quite well.
The growls on Dawn of Reprisal
are musically strong. They are very powerful and the way they are presented only enhances that fact. The same can be said about the screams. Angry shouting is the preferred vocal style of Butler and is, of course, done very nicely. Nothing all that extra special in Butler's shouts, but they still deliver sufficiently well and match with the music almost perfectly. Also, Butler has a lot of potential, and due to the powerful nature of his voice, he displays many signs of becoming even better, so the hopes are high for him.
The instrumental part of this album is also very enjoyable. The first thing that reaches the ear is the drumming which is very professional and interesting. There is plenty of variation found in the drumming patterns, and the drums are very protruding, creating one hell of a sound. The drumming speed variates from average to fast. There are some rare slow parts, but the drumming never reaches the point of very fast. And that is actually not even a con or anything, since drumming is probably the biggest highlight of this album, being very professional and variable.
The guitar riffs that are offered in here are very, very heavy, low tuned and deep sounding. They are not extremely complex, but they do achieve their goal, which is being as heavy as possible. The riffs are constantly hanging in the middle of thrash and death metal, repeatedly breaking the boundaries of both genres. Guitarist show no mercy to their instruments and really torture the strings to cast out the loudest and baddest sound possible, remaining professional in the same time. The riffing is just incredibly heavy and low-pitched. There are even some occasional solos in some songs, which are nicely executed. Solos offered here are not very technical neither are they long, but they fit the context superbly. The best, neat little solos are found in the songs "As I Bleed" and "Hatred Justified". Also, parts that stand out in the context, are the occasional high-pitched guitar riffs, that give the songs (they are in) a very good atmosphere, while the bass on its turn is backing them up with some neat downtuned riffs.
The whole atmosphere and feel of this album is very epic and sometimes sounds like Scandinavian metal. In some songs, there is an undoubtable use of pianos/synthesizers to give a final touch to the atmosphere, and craft the occasional melodies a little higher. Themes of Dawn Of Reprisal
circle mainly around war, hate, feelings, torture, destruction, life and even love, sometimes even scratching the surface of being truly emotional (such a rare thing in death metal). The overall sound that Malefice create is brutal, yet still melodic at the same time, and full of neat death metal riffage. The vocals are very harsh and angry at one point but in the next they can become downright brutally emotional, filled with feelings and emotions.
The sound of this album is not extra complex, but it is very unique and even somewhat inventional. Malefice crosses the modern thrash and death metal genres well, in order to create their unique sound, which is heavy, emotional, brutal and enjoyable.