Malefice - _Dawn of Reprisal_
(Metal Blade Records, 2009)
by: Jackie Smit (4.5 out of 10)
You'd think that the enormous chorus-line of admirers that have recently been carrying the torch for Reading's Malefice as the greatest musical miracle to come out of England since Queen would have had their fervour kept in check by the likes of the infinitely more impressive Sylosis. Unfortunately such is the hyperbole surrounding this quintet's sophomore opus that only the most thoroughly exceptional debut would be able to do it justice, and _Dawn of Reprisal_ isn't that album. Instead, it's as trite a take on British heavy metal traditions as you could imagine, made accessible for the In Flames crowd by the use of growled vocals and nigh on constant mid-tempo boogie beats. Ironically Dale Butler's voice turns out to be just about the most likeable thing on here. Songs like "Human Portrait" and "Abandon Hope" manage to squeeze a few exciting sojourns into what is otherwise an entirely predictable quagmire, but really the only reprisal being meted out here is tantamount to a teenage temper tantrum. Dull.


(article published 15/4/2009)

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