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Malefice - Gravitas EP artwork


3rd November 2014 - Transcend Music

01. Forsaken
02. Heroes
03. Escape
04. My Design

It’s been a little while since we’ve hardmuch from the Malefice camp; their last release was the EP V back in early 2013 – which showcased their signature metallic fury, something they’ve practiced since they hit the scene in around 2007 – but perhaps with a bit more flavour. Gravitas, however, is a wholly refined sound from the band, taking their Chimaira-esque sound and cranking it up a notch.

The EP starts with a fat, droning chord before breaking into a massive riff akin to that those of Heart of a Coward; raging metallic monsters that  throughout with vocalist Dale Butler’s familiar pained roars which are like the icing on the cake. The chorus reprise adds a powerful crowd element to the song which is bound to go down a treat live.

In “Heroes” we hear some of their more melodic approach, while still sitting comfortably heavily upon their new sound. I can’t help but feel Heart of a Coward’s Severance has heavily influenced Malefice’s new direction. This is by no means a pit-fall, as it seems to work slickly in their favour, in contrast to their older material. The melodic chorus hits hard and assures that their melodic input hasn’t been abandoned.

The open to “Escape” is a fine example of this new sound; a scooped riff builds up into a groove-laden verse. Again, these guys take a pristine blueprint onto which they work their sound. and it certainly does them justice. With another catchy chorus, it’s obvious that these guys are onto something here.

The EP’s closing song “My Design” is a slow rager, albeit a tad weaker than the previous tracks, but one which nonetheless draws the showcase to a close.

With riffs aplenty, Gravitas does not disappoint, and while it may not be groundbreaking material, it is a huge step forward for a band who until now seemed to be fading into metalcore obscurity following their peers’ (such as Sylosis) rise to fame. With an album promised on the horizon and a likely busy tour schedule up ahead, it’ll be interesting to see where these guys go from here.


William Author Banner