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Welcome To The World Of Raw French Black Metal. - 75%

Perplexed_Sjel, December 6th, 2007

Welcome to a new genre folks, brutal black metal! We've seen brutal death metal, but this blows that shit out of the water, for sure. Malleus Maleficarum are known across the world for their no strings attached style. They play a set way, it's barbarous, it's bloodthirsty and it's brutal. They like it that way and we like it that way. There isn't much one would change about the approach Malleus have chosen to use as their way of depicting their emotions to the world. Therefore it makes finding faults with their style increasingly difficult. So, let's focus on those positives shall we. Com'on, we all like being positive, don't we?

Well, as I say, it's a no strings attached debut. There are fans who will turn away because raw black metal simply isn't for everyone, but for those who stay to watch the carnage unfold, well, they won't be disappointed. Malleus are a breed of raw black metal that probably the majority of black metal fans can listen to. I'm not particularly fond of the raw sub-genre, but I can handle this because of the flowing creativity and sheer brutality of it all. When it comes to music, i'm all for slow songs that take their time to develop. Occasionally, songs that can take up to an hour to unfold before my very eyes. The challenge of it all is exciting to someone like me. I enjoy long films, I enjoy long music and I enjoy analysing.

Malleus' style, for all it's worth, is fairly standard. It's easy to analyse and there isn't much to uncover as the majority of their message is placed smack bang on top of everything. This, for someone like me, may cause a problem if I listen to Malleus too much, so I take them in small doses. Doing such a thing is absolutely fine by me, but there are those who won't have the patience. However, patience in terms of the length of this record is not an issue. The songs are generally kept short and sweet, this adds to the brutality. You get the feeling that if Malleus kept the brutality up for a duration of several minutes, you'd get easily bored, perhaps even frustrated that they're not finishing the job they started. However, this isn't the case on 'Taedium Vitae'. This French act is simplistic. There is nothing to uncover, as I say, it's open for all to see, which is appealing to a lot of people.

This is honest black metal played with a hint of anger and a dab of aggression. Malleus' ability to alter the state of mood you're in is appealing, to an extent. Their music has a raw, hate filled sound, so when you hear those blast beats, you get swept away with the mood. Atmosphere is important to every black metal band. There are those who can pull it off, and those who mess it up. Malleus pull of the aggressive side of black metal well. This, to me, is largely done through percussion and vocals. The percussion is generally fast and furious, which doesn't allow the audience to settle. This is edge-of-your-seat black metal that packs a mighty punch. The vocals are rasps, but that's to be expected. They tend to keep up with the fast flowing nature of the songs quite well, they add a fresh touch of anger every time they come into action and do their job consistently well. 'Taedium Vitae' is a solid debut, but you cannot help but feel there is more to come from Malleus, which for me, is something I can state as fact, going to happen on the second full-length record.

In terms of leads, Malleus are effectively melodic. There is a distortion added to the guitars which sounds exactly how it needs to. It's plucky and punchy. The bass has it's part in the mix, but for the most part, it's not as important as say the percussion side. As I say, you're never able to settle on one mood because Malleus' style doesn't allow you to. It's too fast for the audience to be able to do that and pleasingly so. It keeps you alive and awake for everything. This isn't one black metal act that can put you to sleep, oh no. Raw black metal at, not it's finest, but it's a damn sight good.

Fucking amazing! - 94%

KayTeeBee, November 6th, 2004

Holy fuck... this has to be another kick-ass French BM release....but don't expect it to sound like anything by Vlad Tepes or les L├ęgions Noires. This album concentrates on both guitar riffs and vocals, and they're both combined to make an excellent release. The production is perfect, not too much treble, which is something some bands fail to accomplish. The drums are not pretentious at all, they're just very fast and simple. Just listen to Bleeding Runes and you'll be convinced that this albums owns almost instantly. These guys don't try to cover up their riffs with keyboards or anything, they just show their talent by delivering some extremely agressive and raw riffs.

All of the songs are amazing, outstanding, but my favourite track is Ancient Blood. Starts out with a sad clean guitar riff with almost no drums, and around 0:40 the extremely raw riff starts, with some of the most brutal vocals i've ever heard on top of that. The other stand out track is Bleeding Runes, and as I previously mentionned, it'll probably take you in the first 10 seconds of the song or so. It's amazing for 2 very simple reasons: Incredible riffs, and oustanding vocals. I know, the rest of the album also contains these 2 elements but this song is just pushing is to a new level.

Fans of raw riffs, this is for you. If you don't enjoy this, then stay away from raw black metal.