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Album Reviews : In Malice's Wake – Eternal Nightfall

By on December 23, 2008

Finally, after two years and countless delays, the debut full length from Victorian thrashers In Malice’s Wake is here. This is an album I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while, and every delay just saw another jump in my expectations. Needless to say, this album is well worth the wait.

‘Eternal Nightfall’ is thrash album of the year. In fact, it’s the best thrash album since Iced Earth went wicked back in ’98. From the opening drum beats til the crazy guitar solo that brings the album to a close, there is not a boring moment. Every track has its strength, and each is as memorable as the next, to the extent where it’s almost impossible to pick a favourite.

It’s hard to directly compare these guys to many other thrash bands. Take the thrashy yet melodic riffs and choruses of Testament’s earlier work, add the all-out ferocity of Slayer in their prime, throw in growls that are more on the guttural, death metal side and you’ll end up with something along the right lines. Ultimately, In Malice’s Wake have taken all the best bits of thrash, thrown them into a mixing pot with their own added spice and made one tasty thrash pie. Don’t expect any one particular herb to instantly jump out and have sex with your taste buds though, this is more a case of everything just mixing well together.

In the guitar department, both the writing and playing is spot on. There’s a fantastic mix of speed and melody, and a handful of absolutely fantastic solos. The drums are heavy when they need to be and pull back a bit when it’s called for, driving the music along perfectly. Vocally, there’s some serious power in Shaun Farrugia’s voice; I’ve always known that from seeing them live, but it’s fantastic to see it come across just as strong on this recording as well. As for the bass, it’s not exactly at the forefront of the music and seems to disappear completely at times, but there isn’t really anything bad to say about it.

There’s a decent amount of variety here as well. As I mentioned before, there’s a nice balance of the heavier and more melodic sides of thrash while small additions like the acoustic guitars on “The Path Less Travelled” stop the album from becoming too predictable.

Production-wise, it doesn’t get much better than this. The two years of fiddling around and rerecording (which are explained in detail in the booklet), have paid off as the final product is one of, if not the best sounding Australian metal releases I have ever heard. It’s thick and powerful in the heavier parts, and is given lots of room to breathe in the few quieter parts.

To put it bluntly, I can’t find fault here. Many listens later and I have never once thought “they should have done <whatever> instead”, or “ it needs more <whatever>”. ‘Eternal Nightfall’ is excellent in every way, and is right up there at the top of the thrash pile. If you’re a fan of thrash, death metal, heavy metal, any metal really, then you need to get this album. 10/10

At the time of writing this review, you can purchase the album through the store on the band’s official website.

For fans of Testament, Slayer, Annihilator, Iced Earth.

Band: In Malice’s Wake
Album: Eternal Nightfall
Year: 2008
Genre: Thrash metal
Label: Independent
Origin: Victoria, Australia
www.myspace.com/inmaliceswake

Tracklisting:
1. Intro
2. Pay the Price
3. Eternal Nightfall
4. Bitter Demise
5. To Run With The Darkness
6. Man-Made Death
7. The Path Less Travelled <- Reviewers choice
8. As Dusk Covers Day…
9. Weakness In Numbers
10. Where Silence Hides
11. Mental Disarray

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.