23 Feb 2012

Rise of Malice - Coronation of Liar / Rise of Malice [Demo] (2010 / 2012, Self-released / War Productions)

To me it's always interesting to see and hear the way a band progresses and evolves between releases. Some bands develop a completely new style between albums while some stay with what they know.

The Greek black metal act Rise of Malice, originally created by Satwe, Norlander and Storfeth in 2009, are now two demos into their career of blasting black metal. 2010's demo "Coronation of Liar" features 4 original songs aswell as a Darkthrone cover; The 4 tracks are a manifestation of 90's black metal worship, sounding very akin to Norwegian legends like Darkthrone, Gorgoroth and at times even Immortal. Vocals, drums and guitars all come together in a greater unity to nourish the incredibly cold atmosphere that many bands of the genre have come to embrace. The vocals are a classic display of the trademark distorted raw screams, and the guitars present wholesome tremolo-ridden riffs that are mostly very catchy aswell as giving the impression that the music is not something that the band just does as a hobby.
Rise of Malice's first demo is an overall magnificent interpretation of the classic black metal bands, and while they aren't trying to hide who they're taking inspiration from they still manage to give their own personal touch.

Narrowly avoiding the stereotypical lyrics about satan it seems Rise of Malice have gone for more interesting and esoterical themes, which is more commonly seen with depressive and often non-Scandinavian black metal bands. I've found that this tendency to abandon the now-cliché topics of satanism and anti-christianity in black metal is on the rise in more reasent years.

When Silent Echoes, the first track of the second demo, 2012's Rise of Malice, toned in on my speakers I thought for a moment that the Greek band had taken a turn toward depressive black metal like Xasthur, Wedard or Nortt. But as soon as the intro track faded into the second track, the mystically magnificent "Forest of Mist", those ideas were blasted to hell by a torrent of guitars, drums and vocals.
What hit me first thing was the more progressive riffs. With their self-titled demo Rise of Malice have developed a more destinct riff-sound aswell as moved into turf more unorthodox. The progression from Coronation of Liar to Rise of Malice, while subtle, is noticable. Their newfound more untraditional niche of black metal has also brought a rawer sound with it.
I was surprised to find that their sound has changed from their old material to the new. I already mentioned the rawer sound, but the general balance between instruments isn't quite the same anymore. The drums sound like they've been downplayed a little, though certain fills are marginally louder than the rest. The vocals also seem to have been altered and made less distorted.
The second demo offers 4 new tracks written by Rise of Malice and another cover, this time of Immortal's Withstand the Fall of Time. The 4 new tracks, while much the same as the 4 on Coronation of Liar, still show a certain amount of musical evolution within the band. It sounds more like the band has found their own sound on the self-titled demo.

Over all I guess you could say that the first demo is more catchy and easy to approach while the second is a tad bit more esoterical. If you are one of those people who think black metal can't be about great riffing, then Rise of Malice may very well be the band that changes your mind. 8/10 guitars.

Tracklist (Coronation of Liar):
1. There is no God
2. Voice of Profligate
3. Coronation of Liar
4. Chalice of Blood
5. Unholy Black Metal (Darkthrone Cover)

Tracklist (Rise of Malice):
1. Silent Echoes
2. The Forest of Mist
3. Bones to Dust
4. Bloodshed
5. Withstand the Fall of Time (Immortal Cover)

RISE OF MALICE official site
War Productions official site

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