Malum - Legion

Malum is a black metal ensemble from Finland and "Legion" is their 3rd full length album. "Legion" could be described as an album that paves in the ways of northern European black metal as it was shaped in the 90's. Cold, frigid and misanthropically distant from humanity. However, Malum seem to be closer to the mid-late 90's sound.

They sometimes seem to be trapped in the genre's standards/cliches and resultantly some of their songs lack originality. But on the other hand, at first this is not necessarily bad because they do a great job in terms of performance/production, and secondly they have written some excellent songs in which they really show their technical and songwriting skills and their potential.
Hecate Enthroned, Emperor, Mayhem and their co-patriots Horna are the bands that came first to my mind as possible influences.

The production is nice and "warm" for the style. Tyrant's vocals (vocalist also in Infernarium and Kalmankantaja) are grim and harsh exactly as the style requires. They are sadistically vibrant and have a big sustain and consistency. The riffs' style varies. At times they are cement-constant rolling on the same theme in the typical black metal ways, others they are mid tempo walls or they create atmosphere with noise/effects, then with open chords travel the listener to the Mayhem glorious ways (for example in the closing part of 'Sexual Demon'). Above all Malum's riffs are performed in a raw but at the same time emotional way.

The synths when used (like in 'Days Of Slaughter And Destruction') give a sickening and filthy twist to Malum's approach to black metal drawing influences from classic albums like Rotting Christ's "Passage To Arcturo". Their dark melodies have an epic aura as the one we meet in Hecate Enthroned, Bal Sagoth or a more traditional edition of Cradle of Filth. The penultimate song 'Luciferian Legion' features an excellent choir/operatic theme whose roots must be in the epic era of Bathory.

The last song is 'Ajattoman Viisauden Loisteessa' which translated from Finnish would be something like 'In The Flood Of Timeless Wisdom'. Countless (hidden) melodies will be repeated in your head minutes after the album has ended. Some of its riffs are majestic and the acoustic part is absolutely brilliant showing (as I indicated before) a band that can produce great music! Limbonic Art would love to have released this song!

Although this is not a life-changing album, "Legion" is undoubtedly a very good black metal album. It has some excellent songs and performance. This is an album that can not be overtaken this month from black metal fans.


1. The Sun Devouring Dragon
2. Manifest Malum
3. Sexual Demon
4. Days Of Slaughter And Destruction
5. Blessed By The Devil's Blood
6. Luciferian Legion
7. Ajattoman Viisauden Loisteessa