We here at GBHBL didn’t love Malefice’s last recording, Five as you can read here. The problem could be summed up like this…a drastic change in sound that didn’t sit well with older fans of their music. The writing was on the wall with Awaken The Tides but it was hard to muster up any excitement for Five.
Line-up changes & a different vocal range has left early fans feeling cold as well as missing those moments of melody. Gravitas goes some way to repairing the damage…
4 tracks long Malefice’s 6th recording…another EP but one that captures both classic & modern Malefice. The opening track Forsaken has an early element of doom before kicking into a more traditional Malefice riff & shouty vocals. Around the minute & a half mark it becomes clear that Forsaken is leagues ahead of what we’ve heard over the last few years particularly in the vocals. The band sound angry & it makes for a crushingly heavy song.
Track 2 is Heroes & at first listen sounds like it belongs on Five/Awaken The Tides with a more spoken-word intro. Just when you think you know what to expect from a song like this a cleanly-sung chorus takes you by surprise. The guitar work here makes it sound incredibly epic. Even then the band don’t sit back & around the 2 minute mark the song slows down & drops a really nice guitar solo before erupting again into some of Malefice’s heaviest work to date. I can’t stop listening to this song.
Escape is another furious song that comes across a little dis-jointed at times. The chorus just doesn’t agree with me & the trippy style guitars in the background just sounded out of place. There is an element of redemption near the end as the song breaks down into a dark & moody number mixed with gang-vocals.
The final song is My Design & is the most death metal sounding song Malefice may have ever done. This song is a pure throwback to the band that made Entities but with the ability of a band that’ve been around for quite a while. A select cut of clean vocals in the middle mixed with a really standout drum section makes for a nice change of pace.
Only being 4 tracks long has left me wanting more & I’m so pleased that I mostly enjoyed what I heard. Malefice are an incredibly talented band but at times seem unsure about what they want to be musically…I think is EP is finally showing off what kind of band they are & I like it.
Malefice - Gravitas (Transcend Music)