2 May 2016

Malichor: "Lurkers in the Crypt"

Flaming thrash metal riffs in a furious black metal environment, enveloped in mystery
Blackened thrash metal has potential to be both extremely energetic and well-composed, but also to be a standardised mish mash of boring riffs and d-beats. Perfected by bands such as Deströyer 666, Aura Noir, Desaster and more, it's a genre where the best are incredible and the rest are usually awful. So where does Malichor fit in with all this? Hailing from Australia, their nationality would suggest that they belong at the top together with D666, Razor of Occam, Gospel of the Horns and Nocturnal Graves.

In many ways Malichor take the high road. Their lovecraftian themes fit the genre very well, but their main strength lies within the music itself. Straight to the core black and thrash in equal amounts, shredding tremolos and rolling d-beats front the riff-fest that is the Lurkers in the Crypt EP. Their recipe for disaster consists of iconic and catchy riffing over a high tempo rhythm section, which in turn is made up of a powerful and audible bass and a drummer with noticable flair and a surplus of energy. D Defiler's vocals, too, show great range in roaring growls and classic rasping.

Malicious atmospheres aside, the Australian group have found room for unusually melodic riffs as well, as evident on Jackal's Spell, adding another dimension to the mysticism that envelopes the band and their lovecraftian topics.

"Lurkers in the Crypt is neither blatant 80s worship nor is it a completely modern piece,"

Where some current bands revolt at the very notion of modernity, Malichor instead embraces the fact that they can do whatever they want. As such Lurkers in the Crypt is neither blatant 80s worship nor is it a completely modern piece - Instead it mixes traditional and contemporary in a noxious concoction that perhaps doesn't revolutionise the genre, but at the very least keeps it fresh and energetic.

It seems many current bands are either tighter than a nun with crystal clear production, or the exact opposite, making Hellhammer sound like the afforementioned. The four compositions on the EP is a good hard median between the two, where there is room for mistakes and the band's natural dynamics to be apparent. There really are no bad tracks on the debut EP, and in that way it is incredibly consistent. After much deliberation, though, the iconic Demonic Power to Infinity is probably the track which stands out the most with its flaring temper and high speeds.

Malichor's music and cover art invokes the spirit of H.P. Lovecraft, reminding me especially of the short story The Statement of Randolph Carter, in which the titular character describes a graveyard visit where his associate suffers a horrible demise to some unspeakable horror in an old crypt. Lovecraft's descriptions are quite vivid on the subject, and in that regard Malichor mirror those aspects. 

Quite early on in their career, Lurkers in the Crypt is a highly promising start. Their sense for riffs is as astonishing as their tempo is fast, almost creating a new wave of satanic speed metal in the process, and their songwriting is both vigorous, profound and unrelenting, fully rivaling that of their progenitors.


Released in 2012 by Dead God Productions


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