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martedì 9 febbraio 2021

Malice Divine - S/t

#FOR FANS OF: Death/Black
The global pandemic situation we all are suffering has nearly made impossible to enjoy live concerts, putting many bands under a difficult economic situation. On the other hand, many other bands, especially solo projects, are focusing more than ever on creating new music, prior to a hypothetical solution to this tricky situation. Malice Divine is a solo project hailing from Toronto, that took the advantage from such situation to give the final touches to its self-titled debut album, to be released this February. Ric Galvez, the musician behind this new act, had a previous band called Astaroth Incarnate. After leaving this band, he focused on composing a full album for his solo project, where we could have the creative control expressing in one project all his musical influences. Twenty-twenty was not obviously an easy year to record an album but with the support of a session drummer, he was able to record this opus, that combines black, death and thrash metal influences, always with a strong melodic touch.

Malice Divine´s self-titled album lasts almost an hour and it is indeed a melodic fest of excellently composed guitars. It is pretty clear that Ric has some classic influences when he draws the guitar lines, especially the frequent and well-executed solos, that have a remarkably vintage influence. As it is quite obvious, this is a guitar led album where the riffs play a shining role, flowing from more black metal influenced riffs to some death metal, thrash metal and even heavy metal ones. The guitars are excellently composed and executed with very well-crafted sections, that change frequently pace and intensity. With regards to the vocals, Ric’s voice is quite good, typically rasped and enough strong so as not to pale in comparison to the powerful rhythm base and guitars. The songs are quite varied in terms of pace, combining fast and medium sections with a remarkable naturalness. There are indeed some nice examples of relentless fury as we can enjoy in "Malicious Divinity". Other compositions like the short "Intuitive Realization" are not as fast as the aforementioned one, tough they don't lack the expected forcefulness. In any case, Malice Divine sounds more comfortable with mid-tempo sections full of intensity, with very powerful drums that create a relentless rhythmic section, making the songs sound stronger overall. "Ancient Visions" is probably the song with a clearer contrast between the fast sections, with blast-beasts and typically black metal influenced tremolo picking guitars and the calmer sections, making it the most personal composition of this album.

All in all, Malice Divine’s debut is a quite impressive first effort, that shows the great amount of work done by its mastermind. The well-made confluence of styles makes this album very appropriate for any fan of extreme metal. (Alain González Artola)