Released: 2017, Finisterian Dead End
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Malkavian are back with their sophomore release in 'Annihilating The Shade', nine tracks of frantic Frenchy thrash metal which oozes attitude and aggression. Having recruited guitarist Mattheu Deicke back in 2016, the band has moved onwards from their last full release 'The Worshipping Mass' and have brought forth an album, whilst being shorter in length, packed full of riffs, breaks, beats, bass, boom and no holds barred bang tidy bodaciousness.
Carrying on in many ways from their first album, we get a whole host of the groovy riffs throughout all the music. The music breaks at a high velocity with 'Resurgence' providing an exemplary opening track for the album. Probably my top pick as the break which flows into the lead work is just simply sensational. The next track 'Alter Of The Damned' is another example of Malkavian's prowess and was well chosen for their music video.
There's lots of hardcore influences on display as some of the songs on the album verge on the edge of crossover, but the thrash is more prevalent. The title track is another standout with plenty of pulls and hammer ons in the riffs. The drumming coming from Alex Jadi throughout is rapid and measured, driving the rhythm to its limits. There isn't as much variations in terms of style throughout the album unlike their last recorded efforts. The tempo is fairly consistent from track to track as well. Still, there's no qualms regarding this as it is straight up in your face thrash music for this contemporary period.
'Encryption Process' serves as a fine example of the groove thrash that meets hardcore and death metal which has permeated the wider metal world and has practically became a subgenre in itself with bands that have sprung up from Norway to the United States where bands such as Lamb of God have conquered the metal world. It's a musical marriage made in hedonistic hellish heaven and Malkavian are a good example of how it's done. Not heard much French metal like this but it is a familiar sound from other areas.
The album finishes with the more explorational and weighty 'Void Of A Thousand Eyes' where it opens with a notey melody which breaks so heavily with an extreme force of power. Probably the most varied track of the album which ends the music rather emphatically. Malkavian are an interesting band and this was a good effort.
The production quality has stepped up as well from their first album to create a less earthy and more clinical sound. A progression in sound but not much of a progression in style as there are a host of similarities between the first and second album; in actuality it is more a case of taking off from the end point of their last album. Malkavian are building their sound and are very distinct in their style so they are clearly a focused band. The French metal scene has some top bands at the minute and it may soon be the case that Malkavian can push on and sample some of that success that their compatriots.
Review by: Pete Mutant