Malice Divine
Malice Divine

Someone really wants to be on The Artisan Era. I mean, look at that logo, cover and the music fits the label perfectly being a shreddy melodic form of polished, surgical, blackened, technical death metal that’s in line with the likes of Inferi and such.

At that someone is Ric Galvez, who plays all the instruments (with the help of Dylan Gowan of Vesperia on session drums) here and does vocals. I grabbed this self-released debut as Galvez recently served in Canadian symphonic black metal act Astaroth Incarnate, who released a fine EP last year, and I’m always up for some shreddy, melodic shit.

But despite Galvez’s considerable talent and ambition (he recently graduated from York University with a Music Major), and time put into this album (it was recorded early last year but delayed due to COVID-19), and top-notch, polished, production there is something a little lacking in the final output.

That’s not to say there isn’t impressive stuff here, there is, and at times there is some serious skill on display. But as happens so often (especially on one-person albums), the skill doesn’t always translate to memorable songs, especially when we delve into 7,8 and 9-minute songs.

Galvez really likes his solos, and he’s really good at them, and occasionally does lock into a vicious, melodic, slicing riff here and there (i.e. “Malicious Divinity”, “Triumphant Return”), but also tends to get a bit overindulgent in the technicality of too many riffs and time changes rather than simply sticking with something that sticks (a problem with most ‘technical” bands) as heard in almost 10-minute closer “The Transcendence Of Isolation”. He also likes his acoustic breaks and bridges (“Into Subconscious Depths”, “In Time”). But when he keeps things short, sharp, and to the point like “Intuitive Realization”, it does the trick.

Still, an effort that shows some potential and certinly a passion for music, let’s see how he progresses with future efforts.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 9th, 2021


  1. Commented by: F.Rini

    I love this album. Has an early Skeletonwitch vibe. Nice review.

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