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Malignance – Tales of Cowards, Heroes and Death

Tales of Cowards, Heroes and Death
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 21 December 2022, 5:22 AM

From their EPK, “In September 2022, Arioch announces that "Tales of Cowards, Heroes and Death" is finally out for the Japanese label Hidden Marly Production: an imaginative voyage through time, through war, heroism, and death. The sound of Swedish-like Black Metal, mixed with more raw outbursts and old-style nuances will accompany you during this 43-minute trip to hell, legends, ancient times, and frozen woods.” The album has nine songs.

“Bayok, the Death” is the first. The mediocre production is event out of the gates, with too much treble in the mix. The drums roll in with the vocal screams, and this is FWOBM influenced music. The riffs are pretty simple, and this is nothing special for me. “The Wolfpack” is a slower grind with some pig squeals in the guitars. For me, this album is quite unimaginative so far. It’s not horrible mind you, but quite average. “Thanatos” features some time changes but the length of the song and the overall sound is quite similar to other songs on the album.

“The Outsider” screeches with treble clef and not a bass tone can be heard. This has always confused me as a fan of the genre. I have to ask, why? Bass only enhances music, though I do understand the “TRVE KVLT” nature of early Black Metal. “Bokor” is another slow and depressing grind. Despite the somber and hopeless feeling to the song, there is nothing that makes it stand out. “Inferno, a Poet’s Epitaph” features a similar sound, unfortunately, and I am running out of adjectives to summarize this review. “Hector’s Last Stand” closes the album, much in the same manner as the other songs.

Overall, since many of the songs had the same length and a similar sound, there isn’t much that I can highlight about the album. It’s not a total loss, but there is just nothing special about the sound. If you like traditional, FWOBM influenced music, you might like this, but it was not very enjoyable to me.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 4
Memorability: 3
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

1. Baykok, the Death
2. The Bulge
3. The Wolfpack
4. Thanatos
5. The Outsider
6. Bokor
7. Strive or Die
8. Inferno, a Poet's Epitaph
9. Hector's Last Stand
Arioch – All Instruments, Vocals
Record Label: Hidden Marly Production


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