How do you describe Malchus? At first blush some would say “melodic death metal” but I really believe that sells them short. Very short. The Evil House is the title of their first English language effort and it is a gem waiting to be found.
Yes it is heavy and at times thrashy heavy, but there are a lot of song dynamics that elevate this album above and beyond the usual extreme metal bludgeoning. The arrangements are unexpected at times, take the title track for example, amidst the musical carnage it slows down to a keyboard interlude that frankly is a bit mesmerizing. Something very similar occurs during But Deliver Us.
The vocals of Radoslaw Solek are guttural but not the typical cookie monster variety, at times I could hear the tonality of Lemmy however more defined. Strong powerful and demanding which I found myself really wanting to hear what Radoslaw was singing about. The production elements are crisp and punchy, plenty of atmosphere that rings out throughout this entire release.
The arrangements on this album remind me of My Silent Wake, but the tempo for most of the album is quite a bit faster than MSW. Album opener Enemy No 1 drives the point home with its determined pace and energy. Tracks like 77, From Dust, and Mother all show strong musical and lyrical maturity.
The lyrics are more thoughtful and introspective about life and our relation to it and our relation to our creator. Not a bunch of “kill the devil, God Rules” dreck which is just overly simplistic and cliché. With themes that range from forgiveness (77) to love vs hate (Tripudium) or the brevity of life (From Dust).
If you are looking for brutal full speed ahead death metal, this isn’t it. However if you are looking for something a little bit different that focuses on song writing and arrangements rather then just speed, don’t wait but grab this album immediately. Malchus The Evil House is one of the best albums I’ve heard this year.