Malakhim - II

Culture is a characteristic of societies since the beginning of time. We associate certain elements, or various cultural expressions, to a specific culture/civilization or, in this case, Countries. Music is no different from other forms of Culture, and each country has its own music, its own folklore.

And when it comes to music, to focus on heavy metal, and its various nuances from country to country. Heavy metal has shown us that cultural background is not relevant when it comes to expressing through music. It is funny to see how easily we can identify German thrash metal from the 80s, as the similarities in each band’s sound were more than one. Not that those bands emulated the rest of their countrymen, but they were all living the space Space and Time and what influenced one, influenced them all.

Men is an image of its surroundings… sometimes yes, sometimes no…

This time we are headed to Sweden. To some, the – real – birthplace of black metal, this Northern country has given us so many bands and so much quality in terms of heavy metal, that it is imperative that one should ask what more are these “frozen” giants capable of.
From Bathory to Watain, Dissection to At The Gates, we are once again presented with another piece of ferocious and savage black metal. Malakhim released a demo in 2017, which lead them to be signed by the more than recommended Iron Bonehead Productions for this 2019 EP.

When I first wrote about culture and the fact that each culture/civilization was raised based on culture and that that specific culture distinguished them from other civilizations, I was foreseeing a parallelism with music – in this case heavy metal music – and how we, with a trained ear, can place a sound from a band, in a musical birthplace.

Malakhim sounds a lot like a Swedish black metal band. I can sense Dissection, I can sense Watain, I can sense a little bit of Marduk in there. How? Marduk and Watain in the same musical equation? Yes, it is possible, go figure ahahah but then again, Marduk has operated changes in their sounds, leading them to a much more melodic – never losing their strength or rage during the process – the Marduk moments, per se, are the harsher and more Savage moments of the record, which is mostly taken by melody and very Swedish soundings.

And what are the Swedish soundings, you ask. Malakhim has put together a beast that feeds on anger and rage. It is a beast of multiple tentacles, of different faces. Going from straightforward black metal from the beginning of time, to a much more structured black metal. Moments of melody followed by moments of fast drumming, give this released a much appreciated flow. The production really gives these songs a plus as you can almost feel each growl, each drumming… Powerful and overwhelming.

The EP starts off with that classical Swedish black metal sound. It takes you back to Watain. Vocal shiftings. Enourmous vocal abilities. Great guitar work as the melody is all around – black metal can have a more mellow melody, and it kicks arse! 'In The Rays Of A New Sun'… very very powerful.

The second one – 'Triumphant Spears' - gives us a more black metal tune. More violent, filled with rage, it spits in your face and leaves you to die, laying on the floor! Swedish classic black metal. Again: melody, blasting drums, grasping vocals.

'He Who Devours' starts off with a gigantic riff that carries us to this moment of explosion, yet, this explosion is not passed on in terms of violence, but this mid-paced song builds momentum and it reaches its climax in the form of melody. Yes, once again… melody! Malakhim have the ability to present us with two features of the being: violence and serenity.

We have reached the end of this EP. Through 'Violence And Calm', we were offered many layers of Black Metal, many layers of Swedish sound. The fact that these characteristics are discovered, does not mean we are in the presence of mere impostors who have taken, from others, the secrets to create this hybrid of black and sometimes death (those drums, uhm…) metal. No. they have painted this canvas with more than just classical elements from their birth nation, they have taken those influences and added their personal touch. 'Sworn To Satan’s Fire' is a classic Swedish black metal song and it will take you back to the days when black metal was ferocious and powerful, without losing melody.

Malakhim has risen from the dead with an exquisite demo, and have shown that they are a beast to be reckoned with and, with the help of Iron Bonehead, we will be seeing them flying high above the demon infested rivers of the underworld.

Addictive. Powerful. Ferocious yet full of melody and classical riffing.

1. In The Rays Of A New Sun
2. Triumphant Spears
3. He Who Devours
4. Sworn To Satan’s Fire