Malleus Maleficarum - _Des Bibles, des Hymnes, des Icones..._
(Oaken Shield / Adipocere, 2004)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8 out of 10)
On this, Malleus Maleficarum's second full-length effort, the band's style is unchanged from their very impressive debut _Taedium Vitae_: raw-sounding, but actually pretty intricate, fast black metal. The pace is kept high most of the time, but the music is never a blur; the drumming stays interesting, and the guitar work is busy throughout, with appropriate vocals on top. When the music does slow down, the band hold their own equally well. Having mentioned the vocals, unfortunately the original screamer left the band and was replaced by two of his bandmates; the result is not quite as good, although it does the trick. The guitar work remains one of the band's strongest points, as it displays great ability for engaging, semi-melodic riffs and leads. The rhythmic backdrop stays equally busy, audible bass included. With a knack for writing songs that remain simultaneously aggressive and musically interesting -- in spite of a lack of studio polish that keeps proceedings quite raw -- Malleus Maleficarum have created another damn good album. _DB,dH,dI_ sees a considerable rise in playing time compared to its predecessor, and it is simultaneously a bit more consistent -- though perhaps the sheer impact of their first attack cannot be expected to remain the same after the listener already knows what to expect from them. The greater length also causes some problems as far as a certain lack of variation, but nothing too serious. There isn't any great originality here either; but there is good songwriting and a combination of elements that come together really well.


(article published 19/10/2004)

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