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Slagmark - Radical Malice

Radical Malice
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 11 November 2020, 12:03 PM

As Black Metal evolved from the format of the 80’s to the one used in the 90’s, it seems that nothing existed before. No one plays what VENOM did back in the 80’s, or considers their music as Black Metal (besides they created the label) in the deeper sense of the words. The paradigm created by MAYHEM, BURZUM, DARKTHRONE, ROTTING CHRIST, DARK FUNERAL, MARDUK and others is the foundations of the genre today, so to speak that one is playing Old School Black Metal is to put their formula in evidence. And their formula is used by the German duet SLAGMARK on their latest release, the Demo “Radical Malice”.

Their music follows the same path of the ancients named above, with the same simple technical work, but always creating that crude and harsh ambience that make chills run by one’s spine. It’s truly raw, morbid and technically simple, but it’s really a very good work, pulsing with a morbid and aggressive personality, and full of a darkened energy that is molded by their funereal melodies. Valfor (the band’s drummer) did the recording and mastering of “Radical Malice”, trying to make things defined for the sake of the listeners’ comprehension of what they’re playing and expressing. But the way they recorded and the tunes used give that crude organic feeling of the past, the same one that the early classics of the Second wave of Black Metal show.

Musically, they show on “Radical Malice” four pieces that Black Metal fans from the past will love to hear. “Behold the Raging Darkness” is fast and furious, filled with nasty shrieked vocals and catchy guitar riffs (this darkened melodies are really very good), and these same elements can be heard on “Radical Malice” as well (but with a better work of drums). On “Loathing Spreads”, a more atmospheric and melancholic appeal appears on the melodies, and “Hate Redemption” comes to show the same fast and grim elements of the previous songs. Their music is a fine example of what usually was called by the fans as Grim Black Metal between 1996 and 1997.

SLAGMARK shows a good work on “Radical Malice”, but their potential to create something even better is clear. For now, this demo is fine for Old School Black Metal fans that misses the days when MAYHEM, DARKTHRONE, DARK FUNERAL and others were releasing their first works.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

1. Behold the Raging Darkness
2. Radical Malice
3. Loathing Spreads
4. Hate Redemption
Revenant - Vocals, Guitars
Valfor - Drums
Record Label: Purity Through Fire Records


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