May 032013

(TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album from Malefice of Reading, England.)

Malefice are one of the only metalcore bands still worth listening to. Hailing from Britain, long time vets of the scene, their new album Five is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. For the uninitiated, Malefice play a style of metalcore that, while old school (very KSE/Unearth/God Forbid), also incorporates quite a bit of love for thrash metal. The result has been a sound completely soaked in violence, jolting whiplash-inducing riffs, and circle-pit-inducing grooves.

The opener “V” pretty much speaks for the album. The galvanizing jackhammer of its verse is enough to get the blood pumping, but it’s the anthem of a chorus that really seals the deal. This is metalcore at its best, when it’s got that intensity, energy, and commitment to bruising the listener, whether being melodic or not. The rest of the music appropriately follows suit, all fast-as-fuck, balls-of-steel metalcore that borders on pure melodic death metal. The sound of Malefice has changed a little bit, though — they’ve tuned their guitars lower and their particular approach to riffs and melodies has definitely taken on a more epic, energetic feel. Continue reading »

Jun 302011

While other metal blogs were posting about the release of new songs by Dream Theater and Trivium yesterday, I was listening to new songs released the same day by ICS Vortex and Malefice. Is there something wrong with me? Perhaps I need to be trepanned.

Speaking of trephination, I’m always trying to think of new analogies for skull-coring metal, and this one just came to me out of the blue. Amazing that I’ve never thought of it before, actually. I read about a shipboard trephination in one of Patrick O’Brian‘s stupendous novels (I forget which one), and it’s one of those scenes that you don’t forget. According to The Font of All Human Knowledge:

Trepanning, also known as trephination, trephining or making a burr hole, is a surgical intervention in which a hole is drilled or scraped into the human skull, exposing the dura mater [the outermost layer of the brain membrane] in order to treat health problems related to intracranial diseases.

Perfect analogy, eh? I certainly don’t think of trepanning on those extraordinarily rare occasions when I listen to Trivium or Dream Theater. But the new tracks from ICS Vortex and Malefice? Fucking skull-coring! (more after the jump . . . including the songs) Continue reading »

Jun 022011

Damn, I’m finally able to go outside without shivering and being beaten about the head and shoulders with high winds and rain blowing sideways. That must mean it’s June in Seattle!  And so it is. A largely dismal May is behind us, the Seattle Mariners are astonishingly only a game and a half out of first place in their division (that’s baseball for you outlanders), and the summer lies ahead.

What else lies ahead? A bunch of new metal, of course. And because it’s the beginning of a new month, we’re bringing you another installment of METAL IN THE FORGE, in which we collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last month about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like (including occasional updates about releases we’ve included in previous installments of this series), or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know their music yet. In this series, we cut and paste those announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.

Remember — this isn’t a cumulative list. If we found out about a new album during April or preceding months, we wrote about them in previous installments of this series. So, be sure to check the Category link called “Forthcoming Albums” on the right side of this page to see forecasted releases we reported earlier. This month’s list begins right after the jump. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones. Continue reading »

Nov 232009

Top 40 Hits

A couple days ago, we reported on Decibel magazine’s (premature) publication of its “Top 40 Extreme Albums of 2009” and gave you the list of 40.  Many more “Best of 2009” metal lists will soon be appearing on the netz and the newsstands.  Why do people create these kinds of lists and why do we read them?  Music is a matter of personal taste.  These lists represent the personal tastes of particular critics and fans, no more or less valid than my favorites or yours.  So what’s the fucking point?  I’m not sure there is a fucking point, but I’ll make a stab at it. Continue reading »