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Malphas – Divinity’s Fall

Malphas
Divinity’s Fall
by Gary Hernandez at 03 July 2022, 11:58 PM

The Swiss incarnation of MALPHAS (there are at least five active metal bands with this name globally) is an Occult Black Metal outfit. Their band photos give off a Death Metal vibe, but it only takes one listen to their latest full-length album, “Divinity’s Fall,” and there really is no doubt. This is some well-refined Metal of the blackest kind. And really, before you put on the album, the cover art pretty much gives it away. A black and white rendering of a dark angel spearing the heart of his divine foe who lays splayed out on the killing floor. Yeah, Black Metal.

But there are lots of types of Black Metal, so where does MALPHAS weigh in on the scale? The band offers up a melodic style, but with sharp distorted riffs as opposed to tremolo. Vocals are raspy and harsh; the drums are blast; solos epic and soaring. And the production values are excellent. This isn’t lo-fi-abandoned-cellar stuff. And while the band is often tagged as occult or satanic, their sonic hoof print doesn’t carry too evil of an imprint. That is, tonally the band has an epic or uplifting feel which might just come down to the Swiss melodic slant.

There are a lot of great moments on “Divinity’s Fall” including the entire opening track, “Astral Melancholy”—a full-on instrumental piece clocking out at 6:36. I mean, that’s a helluva commitment to what amounts to atmosphere setting. I also loved the several acoustic movements scattered through the album as well as some brutal drum stampedes. The intro to “Wrath of the Fallen Angel,” for instance, is just gorgeous—you know, in a visceral, soul-crushing way.  And if that isn’t enough, try “In the Name of War” for more percussive abuse.

My pick of standout tracks are: 1) title track, “Divinity’s Fall.” Almost black ‘n’ roll this one. A total blast; 2) “Wrath of the Fallen Angel” for its diversity of styles. Also, check out the official video below; 3) final track, “Domination.” Ah, there it is, the glorious tremolo. And also more rampaging action on the kit and one or two unexpected, discordant interludes. It’s like one entire album packed into a nine-minute track.

Okay, some solid Melodic Black Metal from Switzerland. Not a shocker there but certainly a treat. Some excellent stuff five years in the making. Would expect some live support coming soon if it’s not already out there. Catch them at a sanitorium near you, or just stroll over to Bandcamp and drop some filthy lucre on some filthy Metal.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Astral Melancholy
2. Exile
3. Wrath of the Fallen Angel
4. Forged in the Abyss
5. In the Name of War
6. Hymn of your Glory
7. Divinity's Fall
8. Last Breath
9. Domination
Lineup:
Raven – Guitars (lead), rhythm
Xezbeth – Guitars (lead), Bass
Balaam Astaroth – Vocals
J – Drums
Record Label: Folter Records
     


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Edited 06 December 2022
 

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