Malefice are a band who've never had the attention and success that some of their music has deserved. That will hopefully change with the Gravitas E.P, which is some of the Reading outfit's finest work to date. Recently bolstered by former Anterior member James Cook as the new man behind the drum kit, the 2014 version of Malefice is lean, mean and with songs that stick in your head from the first listen.
Opening track Forsaken has a dark, brooding, almost drone-like intro before cutting loose with some of Dale Butlers trademark vocals, an impressive burst of drumming from the aforementioned James Cook and from then on it's riff after riff with at least three different bits of guitar work guaranteed to induce headbanging wherever the listener happens to be - listen on public transport at your peril! With Dale showing impressive vocal range and the rest of the band on top form it's one of the finest Malefice songs to come along in years and that's just the beginning.
Second track Heroes is more melodic than Forsaken but packs no less of an impact and contains a hugely enjoyable mid song instrumental interlude which provides a wonderful contrast to the face melting final third that follows it. Escape returns to the organised audible chaos that Malefice have proven so adept at over the years, while the closing My Design is an all out assault on the listener with another fine vocal performance from Dale Butler and more great riff work from Ben Symons and Andrew Wilson. Tom Hynes also deserves a mention in conjunction with James Cook as, on the evidence of this, they have formed one of the finest rhymthm sections anywhere in UK metal today.
Overall, the only thing preventing Gravitas from scoring even higher is the fact it's only four tracks long. If Malefice can produce a full length album of this quality then the metal world will have no choice but to finally sit up and pay them the attention they deserve.
You can pick up Gravitas directly over at Amazon