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Album Reviews : In Malice’s Wake – The Thrashening

By on August 20, 2011

Three years after their storming debut Melbourne’s very own thrash kings are back with The Thrashening. This is definitely a band that doesn’t suffer from “second-album” syndrome as everything that was good on Eternal Nightfall is brilliant on the latest In Malice’s Wake disc. The riffs are tighter and faster, the drums are fast and relentless, and the vocals are as good as you are going to hear on any thrash release this year.

The Thrashening kicks off with “Endless Tradition” which sets the scene for what is to come over the albums 8 tracks. This song refuses to let up from the opening riffs and harkens back to the best of early-era Metallica riffing. Musically this is something that could have been lifted straight off Kill Em All. Malice have taken the best of bay-area thrash and put their own stamp on it. This is the common theme in most of the albums tracks. Tracks like “Evil by Design” and “The Crawling Chaos” have Testament influences written all over them. One point to note though is that Malice’s is far from a “clone” band. This is a band that has taken their influences and wears them proudly on their sleeve. Whilst these influences are prevalent throughout much of The Thrashening Malice’s also have their own sound. Think of early-era Metallica / Megadeth riffs, mixed with the vocals of Chuck Billy at the top of his game and you’d get part way to describing The Thrashening that In Malice’s Wake have come up with.

One of the albums highlights is “Onslaught”. This beast kicks off with some great riffing and is complimented by some awesome (yet subtle) time changes in its drumming. This track is indicative of The Thrashening as a whole. It shows a band at the very top of their current game. I say that as this band is only going to get better over time if the improvement on this disc from its predecessor in any indicator. This is a song that demands repeated listening and contains some of the finest guitar riff and solos to be found on this disc. The fantastic musicianship on this track is complimented by some outstanding gang vocals on the chorus.

Other highlights include “No Escape” and the barnstorming closer “Nuclear Shadow”. Both tracks include great work by all bad members and some great changes mid-song that keep the listeners attention right throughout the album. This is also common to most of the tracks on the album. Every listen reveals a little something that might have been missed previously.
Special mention must be made of the outstanding production on this album. Whilst it is bathed in that bay-area thrash sound in terms of musicianship, it is very crisp and clear on fronts. This is truly an 80’s-thrash album with current-day production. This is one of the vast differences from the bands debut. The guitars are more biting and contain one of the best guitar tones heard on a local release in quite some time. The drums are also bought out a quite considerably in the mix and are front and center. Most albums in this genre leave the drums and bass a little buried in the mix but on The Thrashening they are right in your face.

All-in-all, The Thrashening is an album that is definitely going to please anyone that loves bay-area thrash and metal in general. It is perfectly timed at a shade over 30-mins, meaning its 8 tracks are just long enough to keep the listener engaged for the whole time while not being long enough to cause you to skip tracks. A definite contender for album-of-the-year and highly recommended for anyone that likes their metal fast and full of more hooks than Rex Hunts tackle box. 8/10

Band: In Malice’s Wake
Album: The Thrashening
Year: 2011
Genre: Thrash Metal
Origin: Melbourne, Australia
Label: Independent

1. Endless Possession
2. Evil By Design
3. Onslaught
4. Fuel For The Fire
5. The Crawling Chaos
6. Join Us and Fight
7. No Escape
8. Nuclear Shadow


Nick is a dedicated and lifelong metal / rock fan ever since he heard Kiss Alive when it first came out. His tastes extend from anything and everything from AOR, to power metal, to thrash, to death, to progressive rock / metal, to melodic rock. Chances are if the band exists....Nick knows of them! (some might say he's metal obsessed).