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Malum Sky – Diatribe Award winner

Malum Sky
by Anton Sanatov at 12 March 2019, 9:54 AM

Everyone has something to say; and a few of those words tend to be real mouth-openers. In the world of free speech, opinions pollinate the airways without hindrance but with plenty of deceit, and as the most vicious of utterance sink their claws into your ears, you have no choice but to go on a diatribe yourself – yet to what extent?

Music is loud - regardless of its volume. When you tune into something and it speaks to you, the influence can be undeniable, throughout any genre. Yet if that voice is also as eloquent as a finely crafted Prog. record can be, then that is when you really listen and appreciate what the music has to say. Now, Welsh-bred MALUM SKY are new to the scene, but don’t let that stifle your expectations, for on their debut mini album “Diatribe”, they sure seem to know what they’re talking about.

MALUM SKY begin the conversation with slow, pounding riff iterations of “Year of the Rat”, which may appear simple at first, but they’re only opening up the debate before pushing forward with twisted Prog. Core fret sliding of the modern era beneath the soaring tones of Ben Honebone’s vocals. As the grooves set in and time signatures alter, one immediately recognizes that this shall be a topic well worth discussing.

Things then get a touch more ambient with “Borrower”, as the guitars begin to drip with delay and a Progressive Metalcore aesthetic sets an unparalleled connection between the earth and the skies - creating a dialogue between the gravity of crushing riffs and feathery melody of clean strings.

Yet what separates this band from a lot of the modern progressive minds, is their emphasis on songwriting – which focuses on structure over weight – and their choice to largely eschew growls and distorted vocals – as is seen in “The Coil”.  Those types of characteristics create a modern Prog. Metal hybrid that is not so much DREAM THEATER-meets-Core, but rather A PERFECT CIRCLE that is drawn around the likes of NORTHLANE – a very winning argument in all aspects.
Things do get a bit heavier and louder as we dwell upon the notes of the latter two songs “Eye Above” and the title track “Diatribe”, which see the band throw some density into the mix, as they channel the blunt, stomping heaviness of bands like SILENT PLANET, TESSERACT, and the musical aptitude of genre favourites PERIPHERY.

The production on the record compliments it musical proficiency. “Diatribe” sounds open, clear, and precise; albeit it may have benefitted from a few more layers just to make it more impactful. The performances of the musicians on the record cannot receive enough praise. Yes, in the genre of Prog. Metal everyone can play, but here you have a band who truly love to; and you can hear it in every playful pinch harmonic and every rhythmic roll.

Overall – “Diatribe” is a conversation between the past and the present. This record doesn’t shout, it doesn’t throw things; it hashes them out and finds a solution - a formula for a modernistic, mixed breed that shall roam amongst the opinionated giants of the new Metal landscape. What MALUM SKY are seen creating on their debut offering, is a voice for the masses.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

  1. Year of the Rat
  2. Borrower
  3. The Coil
  4. Eye Above
  5. Diatribe
Ben Honebone - Vocal
Jon Evans - Guitar
Michael Jensen Després - Guitar
Athanasios 'Saki' Patsiouras - Bass
Joe Wilkes – Drums
Record Label: Sliptrick Music


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