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Malist - In the Catacombs of Time

Malist
In the Catacombs of Time
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 14 December 2018, 7:34 AM

MALIST is a solo Black Metal project from Moscow, Russia, created by Ovfrost. The project originated in 2017 from a series of home recording experiences. The artist soon developed a musical concept based on general melancholic mood of the music, minimalistic rhythm guitar-centered arrangements, with some ground for atmospheric digressions. The lyrical themes are inspired by the sheer hostility of life itself. Shortly after releasing the first track "Spiritual Oppression" via Bandcamp on September 20, 2018, MALIST signed a deal with Northern Silence Productions in October. What we have in hand here is their debut album, set to be released on CD and digitally on January 25, 2019.

“Venture into Life” leads off the album, with melancholy clean guitars. A warm feeling starts to come over you. When the main riff hits, it’s just an extension of the earlier passage, with fuzzy distorted guitars. When the double bass hits, layers are being formed. “Agony (To no Avail)” starts off with a faster pace, with blast beat percussion. The vocals are traditional Black Metal in scope, high pitched shrieks that chill the blood. Spoken words get higher and higher and the hairs begin to stand up on the back of your neck. “Spiritual Oppression” opens with clean guitar chords that echo. When the main riff and vocals come in, it follows somewhat of a linear pattern. At about the halfway mark, the clean guitars return, with an air of beauty to them. But, the chaos returns through the end.

“Forlorn and Cold” opens with the Black Metal assault on full display. Thunderous drumming abounds and that main riff fills the air, with screams as their partner. It settles into a groove for a while and then the lively sound returns. “Uniformity” opens with a fast moving riff and some bossy elements come into play. The vocals are depressive and cold. Things drop to a near whisper at about the halfway mark, with clean guitars and some background ambiance, and an alluring sound. “Food for the Flames” opens with a majestic sounding riff, and double bass drums with sort vocal utterances. A secondary riff comes into play around the halfway mark, kicking the track into a higher gear for a spell. “En Bitter Langtan” open with the gentle sway of clean guitar chords, leading to a slow moving sound with a dancing bass line. The vocals are gut wrenching lamentations. A clean guitar passage comes in after the halfway mark, and the song is quite depressing overall.

“Hymn of the Karst Realm” opens with fuzzy bass guitar notes, and an uneasy feeling lurking over your shoulder. The main riff moves pretty well, despondent and melancholy in scope. At one point, a second vocalist joins in and it sounds very harrowing. “Violated by Nothingness” opens with a mid-tempo sound, with a snippet of melody. Spoken words come in as the bass guitar assumes the lead for a spell. “Ever After” closes the album, with the soft sway of acoustic guitars, done in a way that makes your heart ache.

Good Black Metal is cold, evil and depressive. It can also be very exciting and angry. “In the Catacombs of Time” is more of the former description. I feel like it could have broken out just a little more, but being that this is their debut release, I understand why they did not want to “go for broke.” Still, it’s quite good, especially with the variety from the clean guitar passages. I will very much look forward to their next release.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Venture into Life
2. Agony (To no Avail)
3. Spiritual Oppression
4. Forlorn and Cold
5. Uniformity
6. Food for the Flames
7. En Bitter Langtan
8. Hymn of the Karst Realm
9. Violated by Nothingness
10. Ever After
Lineup:
Ovfrost - All Music, Vocals & Lyrics
Record Label: Northern Silence Productions
     


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