Malfeitor
Incubus

I guess I missed the debut album from Italy’s Malfeitor, but I sure am glad I got a copy of Incubus to review. It is one hellishly righteous cauldron of boiling black metal. Featuring bassist/vocalist M. Fabban (Aborym), Malfeitor play in a traditional Scandinavian style, in this case one that crosses the ferociously fast and blasting variety (ala Dark Funeral) with a relatively majestic/melodic approach (though not in a symphonic/keyboard-created sense).Oddly enough, I’m taken with Incubus not because it is some kind of watershed black metal release, but because it is simply a traditional, well written black metal album. In today’s “scene,” there are so many variations of the sub-genre that it is refreshing to hear more of dyed in the wool black metal act.

That is by no means all there is to it though. Across the 55 minutes – that’s pushing it for a release of this kind, by the way – of Incubus the songs are actually memorable and constructed in a way that keeps the affair from a becoming a blur of minor-note harmonies and blast beats (again, ala Dark Funeral). There is even a little groove here and there. One such example would be the mid-paced section of “Typhonian Gods,” a song also notable for its epic feel, relatively catchy melody, and one of several instances on the album where demonic low vocals complement the prototypical BM highs. As a matter of fact, the more you listen the more you notice the number of effective compositional shifts and accents, such as the slight change in vocal inflection on “Dark Saturnian Chaos” (yet another chorus you can actually recognize), the nefarious clean section of “The Other Half” (yep, another good melody), the transition from fast-blasting to chunk ‘n stutter on the title track, and the eerie guitars and croaky spoken bits on the plodding “Void of Voids. The last track, “Antisaturno (Thùnapsù)” is a bizarre, somehow fitting exercise in drone and sonic creepiness. In short, it would seem that Fabban and friends paid attention to detail in the writing/recording of Incubus.

Indeed, traditional does not have to mean moldy and mundane. Incubus is the best of both worlds in several respects: it burns hotter than a heat wave in Hades and gives the listener something to grab hold of, compositionally speaking, especially after giving the album a few extra spins. Or maybe I’ve just been reviewing so much death metal lately that Incubus is a welcome change of pace. Nah, it really is a good black metal album.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
August 7th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: ceno

    I’m intrigued. Gonna check it out. Thanks for the review.


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