Malefice – Dawn of Reprisal
Record Label: Metal Blade Records
Released: March 3rd, 2009
After bursting onto the scene with their mammoth debut album Entities, Malefice have returned once again to break down the boundaries between metal, thrash, and hardcore with their latest offering, Dawn of Reprisal. Produced by Dan Weller and Justin Hill (formerly of Sikth), Dawn of Reprisal packs even more technical math-metal riffs and throat ripping screams than its predecessor, further establishing Malefice among the top metal acts to come out of the UK. The Weller-Hill combo have already proved they can compete with Adam D. when it comes to producing all things heavy and technical (see Johnny Truant’s No Tears for the Creatures and both Sikth full lengths for proof), and they have successfully produced another landmark release in terms of heaviness and technicality in Dawn of Reprisal.
Though Malefice’s formula is not necessarily a new one, combining elements of metal, death metal and hardcore, the guitarists’ shredding is definitely way above average on the gnar-scale, and the riffs are kept technical with patterns constantly changing at a frantic pace. You won’t find any super slow chugga-chug breakdowns or pig squeals or bree bree’s or whatever god awful shit is going on in heavy music these days, just consistently technical, fast-paced riffing. The band owes some of their sound to the metal greats (In Flames), utilizing plenty of palm mutes and throwing in the occasional solo, but they definitely add their own flavor in terms of frantic mathy metal riffs and plenty of bends and squeals. The screams pack a powerful punch combining highs, mids, and lows, and the album does feature the occasional clean vocals, comparable to those used by Killswitch Engage (“Hatred Justified”). The insane double bass-led assault on drums (courtesy of Craig Thomas) is the icing on the cake for this behemoth of an album, helping keep the frantic pace and providing shin splints for metalhead drummers all around the world who attempt to play these tracks.
Following the release of Entities, Malefice certainly had something to prove. In writing and recording Dawn of Reprisal, they were set on showing the world that they deserve their place among the all time metal greats, and they are certainly on their way after teaming up with the legendary Metal Blade to release the album. What do you get when you combine Malefice’s striving for success with the Weller-Hill duo’s producing prowess? The answer to this Riddler-like riddle is a mammoth of a tech-metal album in Dawn of Reprisal.