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Malum – Devil’s Creation

Malum
Devil’s Creation
by Gary Hernandez at 18 May 2021, 9:48 AM

MALUM is a Finnish Black Metal band originating from Turku, Finland. They formed in 2013 and have released several EPs and splits as well as four full-length albums, including “Devil’s Creation,” which came out on April 16, 2021. There are a lot of variations of Black Metal out there, but MALUM’s variation will ring true to most BM fans as one of the purest. It’s marked by dissonant tremolo riffs and distorted cross melodies set to a breakneck pace of unrelenting blast beats with a troubling bassline than can be felt more than heard. Cutting through the lo-fi hellscape are glass-shredded, screeching vocals. Yeah, straight up Black Metal.

“Devil’s Creation” comprises six tracks across nearly forty minutes. The tracks are as blackened and gritty as the album cover (Roni Ärling). To my ears the album can be divided into two distinct sections. This arrangement, of course, makes a perfect sense on vinyl, with each side exuding its own thematic vibe. Tracks one to three are fairly traditional Finnish Black Metal tracks. My favorite of the three is “Messiaan Kuolema” (trans: death of the messiah). While these three tracks are good, I favor the following set.

With tracks four through six, the album takes on different profile. “The Curse” and “Son of the Dracul” both have a hint of Doom with slightly down-tuned riffs, slower tempos, discernable basslines, and even some synth action. “Dead but Breeding” (awesome title, btw, should be a movie) has definite Punk accents. “Son of the Dracul” is my favorite in this batch. I have to believe it was a strong contender for title track. As it is, the last track slot is a good option and leaves the listener with a strong impression not to mention tinnitus. This track is punctuated by a massive mid-track break that shifts the composition into overdrive. I found myself repeating this section over and over again. The track progresses to a crescendo with some heavy Goth flourishes before going into an extended fade of synth flares and growls of the undead. Superb stuff here.

Lyrically, apart from some well-placed “ugh’s” I couldn’t understand a word. Maybe it’s Finnish, maybe English, maybe ancient Sumerian, or all of the above. Whatever it is, it’s awesome. Thematically, I could make some guesses based on the song titles, album cover, and the fact that this, after all, is a Black Metal album. So, let’s go with the classic three: evil, death, and hatred. If you have religious leanings one way or the other, you could toss in damnation and perdition. Either way, these ain’t no love songs.

All together “Devil’s Creation” is an exquisite Black Metal artifact that deserves a place in every BM fan’s collection. If you are new to MALUM, their catalogue isn’t so big as to break you for long, but it is vile and dark enough to corrupt you forever.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.  Intro/Serpent of the Abyss
2.  Messiaan Kuolema
3.  Devil's Creation
4.  The Curse
5.  Dead but Breeding
6.  Son of The Dracul 
Lineup:
KK – Bass
VT – Guitars
EV – Guitars
Tyrant – Vocals
Goat Aggressor – Drums
Record Label: Purity Through Fire Records
     


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Edited 21 September 2021
 

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