Malmonde - _Malmonde_
(Osmose Productions, 2003)
by: Adam Lineker (6.5 out of 10)
It is important to maintain an optimistic perspective on the years ahead to preserve one's sanity, but if bands like Malmonde are to be believed then the future is a dark and freezing place full of machines that glint under eerie lights. Malmonde offer us some catchy, mechanistic guitar work that is offset by ethereal and cyber keyboard moods. They succeed in creating a cold, otherworldly tone, and this vibe remains constant throughout the opus. On top of this, a bilingual vocalist swings between sinister growls and mournful wailing in accordance with musical progression; there is nothing special here, but he is competent enough at both vocal styles. Aside from creating an effective sonic landscape to perform in, Malmonde's greatest strength is their ability to pen immediate heavy riffs, though placed as they are in this music, they often sound akin to focused nu-metal figures (thankfully without the DJ and rid of weak attempts to be down with the kids yo). The riff work provides the musical bone structure, while keyboards merge melody and atmosphere into a central stylistic feature. However, while some of these keyboard touches are quite inventive, the ethereal figures come across as somewhat functional. I feel that Malmonde's biggest failing is their lack of variation: the music conveys the desired imagery, but it is too repetitive, with the band often returning directly to previously used riff progressions. The consistency of tone makes it difficult to differentiate between songs; "World of Silence" vaguely stands out, but it gets the remix treatment and suddenly becomes cursed with mundanity. Malmonde offer us a record that effectively displays their inspirations, but shows a real need for progression. It is a well-executed attempt, but the result is rather unsatisfying.


(article published 9/11/2003)

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