Malefice
Dawn of Reprisal

My CD collection is full of albums I ‘like’. Not albums I’m going to revisit and listen to over and over again, but certainly not an album I’m going to trade in, sell or use for Skeet shooting once I’m done reviewing it

The second album, Dawn of Reprisal from the UK’s Malefice is one such album.

Plying a form of very familiar American metal that mixes a sturdy thrash backbone glossed with some Gothenburg melodies and some very slight metalcore structures, Malefice is very competent at their chosen style. There’s only one problem though; country (and County) mates Sylosis beat them to the punch with a slightly more dynamic record late last year (Conclusion of an Age) and even though I have not heard Malefice’s 2007 debut, Entities, I can’t help feel that this record was Metal Blade’s obligatory response to Nuclear Blast’s release of an English act playing American Styled metal.

Not to knock Malefice and Dawn of Reprisal as its nicely produced and there are some very nice moments on the album such as the galloping thrash of “Abandon Hope”, varied “Architect of Your Demise” the epic chorus of “The End of Days” and solid rumble of closer “Sickened”, but ‘nice is the only word I could really find. And for every solid, enjoyable moment there is a moment of contrived, commercial and by the numbers predictability that make Malefice as redundant and clichéd as their many Stateside peers; utterly forgetful opening track (“The Midas Effect”), underwhelming clean vocals (the otherwise enjoyable “As I Bleed” and “Hatred Justified”), and just flat out stale structures (“When Embers Ignite”, “Retribution”) and overall I get a sense of Trivium-ness to the whole affair that you guys will either love or loathe at the mere mention of it.

Again, not really a bad record, but not really great either. You could certainly spend your money on something better or worse and die hard fans of All That Remains, Shadows Fall, God Forbid , etc might something endearing about an English take on the genre. Personally I’d look for more obscure but better quality albums by Better Left Unsaid (The Fight Within) and Odium (At the Bottom).

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 13th, 2009

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