Malleus Maleficarum - _Nothing Left to Fight For_
(Aura Mystique, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (8 out of 10)
Gallic black metallers Malleus Maleficarum are named for the infamous witch-hunting book from the Middle Ages, yet they seem to have eschewed the usual medieval black feel for an unambiguous urban image of their cover, complete with selective pixilation. The urban feel, combined with the industrial tones of the intro, invoked fears of something akin to post-prime Mayhem or Satyricon. This fear was as short-lived, as it was unfounded when "Delivrance" ripped forth from the speakers.

Unlike label mates Crystalium, they have forgone intricate blasting in favour of brooding and more atmospheric passages, perforated with a stronger post-Les Légions Noires melancholy. Whilst they do not shy away from the use of melody, it comes to the fore on the thrashy "Les Traces". This stood out somewhat from the rest of the album, even more than the noise-based intro or acoustic interlude that follows, but its catchiness will serve as an accessible entry point into the album. It0s not as strong as the recent release from label mates Crystalium, but is testimony to the terrifying strength of cacophonic French heresy.


(article published 3/10/2007)

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