Malefice – Awaken the Tides

Awaken the Tides
Metal Blade

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Over the years, in my own personal opinion, the mainstream approach to modern day metal has declined. That sort as displayed by the New Wave of American Heavy Metal that made its uprising in the early part of the 2000’s. Maybe it’s just my own personal tastes, or maybe it’s just that those sorts of bands just aren’t as inspiring or creative as they used to be. Certainly I could point the finger at any number of (particularly American) bands who just appear to have stagnated, whether it’s just becoming more radio-friendly or just going with the all-out beatdown crowd. Maybe it’s that stiflingness that’s pushed me to explore variety.
That said, it’s not as though this sort of approach is a lame duck. If it’s done right, then it’s got potential to succeed. And Malefice do it right again on third album ‘Awaken The Tides’. Yes, David Mitchell’s favourite band return here with new drummer Chris Allen-Whyte and the result is ten tracks of explosive thrashy heavy metal that blows the competition out of the water.
Indeed, it still retains a heavy metalcore vibe, which is perhaps just a product of the popular sound at the time, but the key difference between them and their peers is the quality that lies beneath, as well as perhaps a lack of recognition – its self a product of being late to the party, or scene abandonment, or perhaps even being British?
In any event, the album itself is an enjoyable one worthy of repeated spins, starting off with a few quick blasts from new drummer Allen-Whyte on the title track. The usual traits of the metalcore sound are retained, including the Gothenburg-esque riffing, but the delivery is there to get necks moving, particularly during a brutal beatdown on ‘Delirium’. Even during the more atmospheric songs (e.g. ‘Minutes’), they still bring the brutality in their sound.
Fair enough, it’s a tried-and-tested formula, but Malefice have created a fine effort here, and its commendable they’ve not gone all out for the weedly-weedly approach that swamps/plagues metal today, and while retaining a level of melodicism to their sound, at least they haven’t gone for the pound sterling either. Whether they’ll get any more recognition for sticking to their guns is another issue, but it’s far from stale and you could do far worse than take a listen to this, even in 2011.
Peter Clegg

Official merch store (note: ‘Awaken the Tides’ not available here)


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