Killer debut album puts a band’s name on the map. Second album lives up to expectations and pushes said band further up tours. Third album released for new songs at shows to keep the crowd happy. Fourth album? Now, this is where a band makes a name for themselves. Look at many bands and you’ll find that album number four is the one that makes or breaks their image, and with Reading’s Malefice this may well be no exception with the confusingly titled ‘V’.
Malefice were once the bright hope of UK metal. It was them and Sylosis putting themselves out there and punching amongst the heavyweights whilst not being overly spectacular. Today, Sylosis have a record deal with Nuclear Blast and are riding high off the success of ‘Monolith’. Malefice are also starting a new record deal, but with Transcend Music. Sylosis have just completed a headline tour with Devil Sold His Soul that netted them a support slot on Killswitch Engage‘s UK tour. Malefice are still playing the same shitty venues, last seen supporting The Defiled, a band much younger than themselves. It’s a great shame, because they’re clearly top blokes who enjoy what they do, they just haven’t been given that break.
‘V’ doesn’t exactly help matters. Clocking in at under half an hour via 7 songs, it’s almost as short as the band’s first EP, ‘Relentless’, released back in 2006. These seven songs aren’t pioneering, nor do they leave any sort of an impression after one listen. After two listens, however, it becomes clear that Malefice are heading down a certain path, one that has been well trodden over the past few years and one that is slowly crumbling amongst their feet. Bring Me the Horizon carved it out with ‘Suicide Season’, and it was steadily imitated by a new generation of metal hungry teens. For young adults, songs like ‘The Comedown’ were instantly popular, but when they’re sung by chaps who must be entering their late twenties, it’s just not as good. ‘Never Say Die’ is the song that outlines this best, with lyrics of “we’ll drink until the sun comes up”.
Maybe this is all too critical. On ‘V’, there are seven songs that definitely improve as the play count increases. Lead off title-track will get stuck in your head, as will ‘The Great Deceiver’. Why is it all over so quickly though? Surely Malefice could have squeezed out another couple of tunes, especially when the subject matter is so basic.
‘V’ really doesn’t do a lot for them in terms of furthering their careers, and for a band that’s still not got their break at ten years old, it’s not the album that they need to release. It’s a crying shame, because Malefice are great fun live, and they’ve released some killer albums up until now. Let’s just hope for the sake of all of the top lads in the band that this doesn’t damage their careers too much.
Written by MG Savage