Review Summary: A great new addition to the black metal scene that more people should know about.
Well since Malsain has never been reviewed on this site, I'll give them a brief introduction. Malsain is a black metal band formed in Norway in the year 2003. Their second album, The Disease
was released in 2007. This album is what a lot of people would expect from a Norwegian black metal album, minus the bad production. Insane black metal shrieks, melodic guitar riffs, and many variations of drumming is what you'll hear from this relatively new black metal band. If you're a fan of Norwegian black metal then there's absolutely no reason why you wouldn't like Malsain. For those of you who are willing to hear a new addition to the black metal scene, and a very worthy addition at that, then enter The Disease
First of all, think of this album as a soundtrack to your worst nightmare that you can't escape. Creepy ambient interludes in most of the songs make you feel as though you're trapped in a horrible dream that you just can't escape from. Right when you think the ambient parts are taking over, you'll be hit with straight up black metal from hell. Vocals on this album are handled by a woman named Skumring. I can guarantee you that this is one of the most menacing women you will ever have the pleasure of listening to in your life. You can really feel the emotion in her voice. Think of Angela Gossow from Arch Enemy only less guttural. That's not to say that Skumring has a high-pitched voice, even for a female. She definitely isn't a pussy and she can probably out-scream a lot of men in the black metal scene. Her voice isn't too high or low it's pretty much right in the middle and very easy to listen to. If you're not a fan of the more high pitched black metal vocalists then there's a pretty good chance you would still enjoy the vocals that are heard on this album.
There are a lot of clean guitars present on this album. Whenever the ambient, "nightmareish" parts are playing, that's when you'll hear a lot of the clean guitars in the background. They definitely help build a very eerie atmosphere for the album and makes it scary in a sense. After all the album is meant to be scary and give off the vibe of having a nightmare, as I've mentioned earlier. Now just because there's plenty of clean guitars present in this album doesn't mean that it's not intense too. Ice cold, melodic riffs can be heard throughout the duration of the album, in the vein of early Dissection. The cold atmosphere of this album will really make fans of black metal fall in love instantly with this band. The drumming is what should be expected on a black metal album which means it's filled with fast sections and also some more mid-tempo and slow stuff during the creepy interludes.
One treat for fans of black metal will be the production. The production is very clean to the point where you can hear everything perfectly and understand what's going on. It's also not too clean for all the "elitists" out there who only listen to bands that sound like they've recorded an album in their basement. The atmosphere on this album is absolutely perfect for the message that Malsain is trying to convey to their listeners and that message is pretty much that they are your worst nightmare. Like a lot of Norwegian black metal, this album will give you images of dark, misty forests and other "grim" things of that nature. Not to say that this band is caught up in all the gimmicks of the early black metal scene because that's not the case at all. They know their identity and they're not a clone of any of the second wave bands. Malsain is a great addition to a scene that most people think of as bland now-a-days. Fans of black metal music, and not just elitists who only listen to the most kvlt things they can find, will definitely enjoy this release. Actually, if you're a fan of any type of extreme metal then you'll most likely enjoy the music that can be found on this album. Malsain is an unknown gem in today's black metal scene and it deserves to be recognized.