***Review by Luke Hayhurst, writer for Morbid Wings (Print) Zine, VM Underground Fanzine and Doom-Metal.com***
Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, The Relentless (Drums), The Hammer (Guitar), The Channeler (Vocals), and The Watcher (Bass), collectively known as Malleus, have returned with a debut album of Black/Speed Metal spite by the name of The Fires of Heaven, which will see the light of day on both CD and LP through the Armageddon Label.
Opening with the soft violin and cello tones of The Tempest, Malleus soon gets down to the business at hand of angry, snarling Black Metal with a hugely abrasive Speed Metal influence on the riffs and the vocals. Breakneck drumming, gnarly bass tones and raw, aggressive vocals all plough a forward furrow of steady, barely controlled violence, whilst the riffs plunge and rise with alacrity and vehemence.
Tracks such as Beyond the Pale have a more workmanlike quality, not plodding but more methodical in the delivery of the drums and guitar leads, though the vocal work stays particularly vociferous throughout the whole album.
Other tracks such as The Prophetess rely on savage bass leads and marauding drum tones to create a more volatile and aggressive sound, and it’s here that Malleus truly come alive and pull your attention firmly into what they are creating. During the second half of the album the tracks get a lot lengthier, allowing Malleus to explore their sound more as well as giving each component more time to showcase themselves. This is particularly noticeable for the bass play during The Fires of Heaven which has a far more prominent sound and meshes well with riffs that have a slight brooding quality to them.
The Fires of Heaven then is an album that grows on you, and is definitely back end heavy in terms of intensity of tracks towards the latter half of the album and in terms of creativity.
Best moments of the album: The intro is an impressive and misleading start to the album. Also Prophetess and The Fires of Heaven for the snarling bass tones.
Worst moments of the album: Nothing really.
Released in 2023 by Armageddon Label
1. The Tempest 1:34
2. A Dark Sun Rises 4:11
3. Beyond The Pale 5:33
4. Prophetess 3:54
5. The Fires Of Heaven 7:33
6. Into The Flesh 3:48
7. Awakening 8:01
8. Mourning War 9:34
The Channeler – vocals
The Hammer – guitar
The Watcher – bass
The Relentless – drums
Kris Force – violin in “The Tempest”
Jackie Perez Gratz – cello in “The Tempest”
Malleus YouTube | BandCamp | Spotify | Apple Music