Released: 2012, Transcend Music
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
There are two ways it goes when it comes to a re-issue, or in this case an anniversary edition, of an album. Compare it to the original, or pretend it’s something all-new – let’s try walking the tightrope between the two and see how far we get before one of us goes dizzy.
It’s not every band that release an anniversary edition of their debut album just five years after its initial debut, and three albums into their career, so Malefice have either got some grand notion or a need to underline the past. Entities was a beginning born at a time when the world was starting to fall into a financial blackhole that would crumble national economies let alone strip away any readily disposable music-purchasing income, and ever since these Brits have been a name increasingly shouted with acclaim.
During that time Entities has perhaps become a little lost in the band’s history, and yet with this digital anniversary version swinging the spotlight back in its direction, dare I say it, it leaves current album Awaken The Tides a little in its shadow.
By that I do not in any way mean it’s superior on all levels – Entities is a product of its time and metalcore staple chugs and breakdowns are a plenty for much of the album, but they are jostled by the long-sharpened elbows of groove and thrash. ‘Risen Through The Ashes’ is a good example of the band just getting heads-down helmets-on, which will open up pits all over the floor. Any floor. ‘Dreams Without Courage’ is perhaps Entities’ stand out track, predominately through the guest vocals of SikTH’s Justin Hill, which shows the best use of clean singing on the album, but also through its slightly off-beat riffs.
Whilst today’s Malefice may be a little more musically wise, Entities is a reminder that one time those clean vocals were very much the minority, not the current majority. Again a ‘metal’ voice a good album does not automatically make, but with Entities behind them Malefice sound like a band taking action, rather than merely talking it over.
Will you notice any real shift though on this ‘oooh-anniversary-better-scrub-up’ remastered edition though? Well all 11 original tracks are still here, in the same positions, but with original production having been handled by Justin along with SikTH partner Dan Weller it was already sounding pretty good. It comes through crisp and tight out of the speakers, but musically all that was at the fore remains there, and that what was in the back has not been pulled up to the front. So that makes the real focus on the epic outpouring of Killswitch Engage-style extra bonus track ‘Reasons Lost’ which is being made available digitally for the first time, and therefore means you may have already heard it before. Not such a poster campaign then.
If you don’t already own Entities but want to hear the post that Malefice first nailed its colours to, or if you’re not enamoured by the band’s latest output then you can make an anniversary date, but there’s nothing here to warrant second-time ownership.
Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs