Despite being a band for over a decade, Malefice have yet to truly make a name for themselves in mainstream British metal. But in their unimaginatively-titled fifth release, er, ‘Five’, the band seem to have finally hit the nail on the head in terms of finding their sound. Essentially, the Reading quintet have written their best material to date.
Pushing away from the sound of 2011 release ‘Awaken The Tides’ – along with their heavier roots as a whole – Malefice have found a winning formula with more melodic song-writing on ‘Five’. This isn’t to suggest that they’ve gone soft, though. Hell no. In actual fact, the title-track – which coincidentally opens up the EP – is one of the most brilliantly raw and heavy-as-fuck tracks you could hope for. But as you venture further into the 7 songs that make up ‘Five’, the stunning guitar melodies and cleaner vocals start to really stand out. And more importantly, they sound fucking fantastic, flawlessly linking in with Malefice’s typically brutal metal breakdowns. In particular, the soaring metalcore-esque chorus of ‘Wasted’ and the slower (but no less epic) instrumental ‘Time’ are proof that Malefice have changed their sound for the best. Perhaps it’s the introduction of new guitarist Andrew Wilson, or perhaps it’s just that the five-piece have grown up. Either way, it works.
“Expect more bounce than ever, more hate than ever and more soul than ever,” vocalist Dale Butler said of ‘Five’, before it was released. And there’s really no better way to describe this EP, than that. Bigger, beefier and more hard-hitting than ever. Whether Malefice will ever make it as a household name in British metal still remains to be seen. But damn, they sure do deserve it.