Gehenna
Malice


3.0
good

Review

by jk2two USER (15 Reviews)
February 13th, 2010 | 8 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Gehenna's third effort has a homogizing effect on the band's overall sound, but those craving a well-executed and well-produced mid 90's symphonic black metal album will probably be satisfied with this one.

Gehenna are a second or third tier Norwegian black metal band, starting around 1993 offering a slower and more atmospheric form of symphonic BM. Malice is their third full length album and it certainly shows influences from Norway's up and comers, but it also manages to hold it's own. Released one year after the excellent Seen Through the Veils of Darkness, Malice is actually a tad bit more restrained and ironically, less furious than its predecessor.

Gehenna play a fairly popular and easily approachable form of symphonic black metal. The instant comparison that comes to mind is Enthrone Darkness-era Dimmu Borgir (though, check it out, this album predates that one by one year), or a less progressive early Emperor. The guitars and keyboard interact perfectly, offering numerous infectious hooks and several memorable passages.

Malice kicks off with powerful opening track, "She Who Loves the Flame" which is an accurate representation of what is to come - guitar and synth interplay over powerful and fairly triggered drumming. Like many symphonic black metal albums, the bass guitar is hard to spot, but it's there. Classic death metal influences creep up during the opening passages of "The Pentagram," and the slow and plodding "Touched and Left for Dead" may bring to mind Dissection's "Where Dead Angels Lie." (but both albums were released in 96, so who is borrowing from whom?)

Several times while listening to Malice in fact, you may need to remind yourself that this was released in 1996. It's derivative nature will seem less so if you do. This begs the question why Gehenna managed to fly under the black metal radar for so long. The fact that they did may have led to the frustrations that morphed their subsequent albums, polishing the production, and dropping much of the atmosphere.

Overall, however, even Malice seems a bit uninspired compared to the previous two albums. This could be partly due to the overly long running time, padded further by the half-atmospheric filler track, "Ad Arma Ad Arma." It may also be a conscious attempt by Gehenna to capitalize on the growing popularity of black metal by offering a less challenging and more easily accessible variation of their music. Whatever the reason, those brand new to the band may be better off starting with First Spell or the aforementioned Seen Through the Veils of Darkness. Malice just tends to run together after awhile and while it is all very well executed, it is occasionally forgettable.



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user ratings (9)
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3.6
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Comments:Add a Comment 
jk2two
February 13th 2010


105 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

As winter rages on, so do my black metal reviews... Is it spring yet?

TheSpirit
February 13th 2010


18001 Comments


[/i]Malice[/i]




Besides that coding error good review

Digging: The Speed of Sound in Seawater - Red Version

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2010


16478 Comments


Don't really like what I've heard from this band.

Wizard
February 13th 2010


19644 Comments


Don't really like what I've heard from this band.

I like the review a lot though!

Digging: Ash Borer - Cold of Ages

Zoo
February 13th 2010


3759 Comments


Seen Through the Veils is pretty awesome, I'm surprised you didn't like that Kyle. After that though, First Spell is the only other album I can sit through.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2010


16478 Comments


Seen Through the Veils is pretty awesome, I'm surprised you didn't like that Kyle.

I actually haven't heard that album, although I was eyeballing it earlier. I might give it a try later tonight. I have First Spell and think it's boring.

rasputin
February 13th 2010


14555 Comments


she who loves the flames

jk2two
February 14th 2010


105 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I didn't want to stray too much from the album I was reviewing here but, Seen Through the Veils pretty much owns over everything else Gehenna has done - incredible album...



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