In Malice's Wake - _The Thrashening_
(Independent, 2011)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (7 out of 10)
Given the average temperatures recorded in Cairo, I'm a person who finds the months of July and August highly unpleasant due to the fact that it's never cooler than 30 degrees around here. This has come to influence how I receive certain types of music, and the scorching summers have made me more receptive to thrash metal and most things on the aggressive side of the metal spectrum. This is where In Malice's Wake's second full-length album _The Thrashening_ comes into play. You see, my fellow thrashers, this Australian quartet has put together an album that most definitely lives up to its name on each of its eight tracks.

This violently refreshing bludgeon from down under blasts off for thirty-two minutes with murderous intent. The riffing is consistently sharp and trebly enough to engage even the snobbiest of listeners. The drumming is furious and pummeling enough to grease the most stiff of necks. Opening piece "Endless Possession" wastes absolutely no time with pleasantries and gets right down to business. Catchy riffing is also a trick that's used quite extensively on this record, as can be heard on the likes of "Evil by Design", "Fuel for the Fire" and the bone cracking "The Crawling Chaos". Other tracks like "No Escape" and "Join Us and Fight" might have some perspicacious thrashers (if such species does exist) arguing over which one is the strongest moshpit igniter, but that's only because they're all highly enjoyable tracks.

If I were to pick out something that could have improved my listening experience, it would be the vocals. Now, the vocals are executed all over the album with the same raspy shouting technique, a la Tom Angelripper, which presents almost no vocal variety. Having said that, I must admit that it didn't put me off at all, but it could do so to the listener who prefers some vocal command in his thrash. Regardless, _The Thrashening_ is quite an impressive effort that should garner In Malice's Wake the recognition and the record deal they deserve. This energetic group of Aussies certainly doesn't seem intent on revolutionizing anything in the standard thrash metal formula; they're obviously good enough at it to pull it off with such confidence.


(article published 22/8/2011)

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