22 Feb 2016

Rise of Malice: "Coronation of Liar" & "Rise of Malice"

The band that stays true to their roots while progressing as both musicians and songwriters
The following is a double bill review, examining the band's two demos back to back. The first light dawned over the Greek group Rise of Malice in 2009, back then featuring guitarist Satwe, bassist Størfeth and vocalist Nørlåndær. Not long after their creation did they have their debut demo, "Coronation of Liar", ready. It features four original tracks of pure Scandinavian-styled black metal, along with a Darkthrone cover song. "Coronation", given the band's lack of a drummer, was recorded with a drummachine. The machine, however, was replaced by drummer NecroAcherontas in 2011, before the release of their second demo, the eponymous "Rise of Malice", in 2012.

It's interesting to see musicians from all over the globe, in this case Greece, adopt the sound of a regional scene thousands of miles away. The by now textbook example of black metal with raspy, reverbed vocals, simple blast beats and thin-sounding tremolo picked guitars playing eerie melodies in many aspects originated in Scandinavia with second-wave black metal bands like Mayhem and Darkthrone, and Bathory before them, spearheading the movement. Rise of Malice's debut demo, while a short affair to begin with, wastes no time. Their anti-Christian and apocalyptic lyrical universe coupled with their overall sound reveals the source of their inspiration. "Coronation of Liar" is as such a classic display of all the genre tropes, but in a way that doesn't feel forced or feigned. With tracks like "Chalice with Blood" the Greek trio - at that point - stands ready at the gates.

"The fact that their second demo is eponymous suggests that this direction is more in line with what the musicians had originally envisioned for the band"

The biggest difference between the first and second demo turns out to be more than just the addition of a drummer to the band's lineup. The fact that their second demo is eponymous suggests that this direction is more in line with what the musicians had originally envisioned for the band. The progression they have made in the few years between the releases speaks of dedication and enthusiasm. By 2012 their sound had, while retaining the Scandinavian sound at the core of their songwriting, veered off course to chase after a thicker atmosphere and greater epicness.

"Rise of Malice" is much more mystical, the lengthy melodic riff of "The Forest of Mist" leading the charge. What little doubt one could have had of the quality of the Greek band as songwriters after the first demo are blasted to hell by torrents of strings, drums and vocals. It's not that their second demo is unorthodox, but the atmospheric approach suits their style better than the previous straight forward one, and they have definitely developed a more distinct and recognisable sound.

All in all Rise of Malice's progression from 2010 to 2012 is subtle but noticable. The merrit of examining a band's releases back to back becomes apparent when the advancement in both style, ability and quality is as prominent as with Rise of Malice. Both demos have their own appeal, at the same time representing two different periods in black metal and the band's own evolution laid bare.


"Coronation of Liar" was released in 2010 independently
"Rise of Malice" was released in 2012 independently

Rise of Malice on FACEBOOK

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What did you think of Rise of Malice's two demos?

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