Review Summary: Malicious is an incredible deathcore album. Showcasing the possibilities of the genre, but doesn't really add anything particularly original, and is ultimately too short.
I've always thought the deathcore genre has great potential. In theory it seems like a very enjoyable genre. Heavy death metal sections, with well placed breakdowns is what I imagine. Sadly few bands can actually pull off what essentially is a simple concept, and what is left is a sea full of uninspired br00tal bands, but you probably already know about those bands, and I won't go into it further. However, while I generally dislike the genre, I still find myself waiting for that one amazing, mind blowing, genre defining album that would set the formula for future bands to follow.
Naturally one might ask, is Malicious
this album of which you speak? No, but it's pretty damn close.
It's somewhat difficult to pinpoint what exactly makes this album standout. Oddly enough nothing particularly original is done, especially the core elements. The breakdowns are simple, there's one-liner chanting, the typical death metal/metalcore vocal switching, but yet there's something about it that just makes everything work. Simply put; death metal. Few deathcore bands actually contain real, old school death metal elements. Which, is the best way I can describe it, old school death metal. The riffs are heavy, and contain subtle melody in them, almost reminiscent of early Swedish death metal bands. In addition the riffs are just flat out catchy, often leaving lasting impressions for days on end. The album has a constant groove metal undertone, very similar to Animosity. The drumming is top-notch, providing more than a hand full of head turning fills. The vocals are slightly above average, and the bass is just audible enough to give it that extra thick layer.
Littered throughout the songs are well placed sound clips from various movies, most notably a Naked Gun 2 and a half quote. They aren't overused, and tie into the songs quite nicely. In a way it adds a tad bit of variety, which the album is already chalk full of. Though the album only contains 6 songs, each song is easily recognizable, and can stand on it's own, with the exception of the last track (which is more of an outro, anyways) Last Strike Down
Fatal Recoil has quickly become one of my favorite deathcore bands (possibly even my favorite), and Malicious
is the sole reason why. The album doesn't necessarily contain any flaws, but it doesn't really add anything new to the table. This coupled with it's short duration has somewhat hindered it's potential. Make no mistake about it, however, this album is extremely addictive. Even if you find yourself typically hating deathcore, but enjoying death metal, I urge you to give this album a shot.