Reviewed by Mark Plummer
For a band who claim to be critically acclaimed, re-releasing their debut album after only five years as an ‘anniversary edition’ should make for an interesting listen. Whilst there is plenty of punch and what can only be described as brutality, a certain sense of confusion surrounds the album with it, at times, feeling a tad lost.
The second track in – Risen From The Ashes – is fast paced and gets the blood pumping and whilst the track three – Into A New Light – possesses the same quality, there’s very little to distinguish the two right from the start. For all intent purposes, it could very well be one continuous song and as a result, feels over-cooked.
It doesn’t stop here, track number five – History Repeats – seems to be reverting back to the roots laid in tracks two and three, sounding far too familiar. Whilst there is a brief respite, questions arise as to just where the variety is, will this album be full of material sounding almost identical? Yes, there is good material flowing through out Entities, but it’s crucially dumbed down by just how alike it all is. The intrigue that makes the listener go from one track to another isn’t there and it starts to show 10-15 minutes in. Good talent crops up here and there but this album has already fallen into the category of downloading individual songs rather than blowing money on everything.
Tracks like Traitor To All You Know and Horizon Burns stand out above the rest for their ingenuity and deserve some attention. That aside, it’s a release very much for the hardcore fans more than anything else and more than a little disappointing. Last but not least, the bonus track – Reasons Lost – is severely lacking in the sort of professionalism that could be expected from a critically acclaimed band. It’s let down by the lack of commitment in feeling a part of the album and sounds detached. It doesn’t seem to have been mixed or mastered with the rest of the album, instead sounding home recorded in someone’s bedroom, yet it’s probably the best track of the lot.
This is one of the more unusual ‘anniversary edition’ releases out there. Most come with a plethora of bonus tracks and other material, maybe a DVD as well. However this release is seriously lacking in goodies with only a re-master and one bonus track.
The big question is whether or not this is a sufficiently good effort? The answer is no, for what it is you’d expect a lot more.
All in all Malefice have presented one confusing album to listen to and process, yes it’s not at all bad and contains some good music, but the overall feeling of complacency and lack of variety can’t be helped. As a result, trying to listen to the album from end to end is a mission in itself, with satisfaction being gained from picking a favorite three or four tracks and leaving it at that.
2 out of 5