Welsh progressive metallers Malum Sky have been coaxing attention for a fair while; from the 2015 release of their extremely well-received self-titled debut EP luring praise for their richly flavoured sound. Now though they are done teasing it and are making real demands on acclaim and spotlights with their new mini-album, Diatribe. Offering five tracks which bound with energy and spirit whilst embroiling the imagination in their creative cunning and bold adventure, the encounter is a cauldron of fascination and pleasure.
Formed in 2014, the quintet as mentioned has earned high plaudits and support and equally through their live presence as their first release and a greedily devoured following single in Eye Above. It is easy to expect all success to date though to be majorly eclipsed by the surely to be eagerly welcomed Diatribe. The band’s sound has always been a multi-flavoured affair with its own notable stand out character but it has evolved and been honed into something truly individual and enthralling as evidenced by the band’s new offering. A collusion of progressive and tech metal with similarly bred melodic rock ferocity, it is a proposition which unapologetically arouses the imagination as like a fever it invades the body, making it inexcusable at the very least to not give it an eager check out.
There is a fresh darker feel to the band’s music from that first release, equally a heavier touch and intensity which seems to accentuate the melodic prowess already shown previously. With even more assured and adventurous songwriting going hand in hand with open individual craft it makes for a rather tasty proposition as proven immediately by opener Year Of The Rat. As it lays out its staggered bait the instantly compelling tones of vocalist Ben Honebone share their harmonic temptation, all the while guitars weaving and rhythms brewing their equally magnetic snares. Guitarists Michael Jensen Després and Jon Evans continue to entangle their enterprise and skills, setting out a web of melodic adventure around the track’s blossoming personality and imagination. A dark heady edge lines every strand set down as eagerly as it fuels the rousing trespass of drums and bass and with a great variety to the vocals around Honebone’s continuing to impress presence, it all makes for a striking and thrilling slice of creative incitement.
There is something of a TesseracT meets Karnivool spicing to the Malum Sky sound but indeed just a flavouring in something solitary to the band as confirmed just as easily by next up Borrower. Its gentle bordering teasing entrance comes with melodic intimation as keys add a melancholic yet radiant air. From the inescapable seductive caress warm vocals dawn but it is only the calm before a tempest of sound and enterprise. That though is equally the step to another twist and shade of emotional and physical dynamics, the track never afraid to revolve and evolve into another aspect of bold invention and initiative. As the first it is also an imposingly infectious affair in every way, its bite addictive and melodic lures delicious; a combination just as resourcefully exploited by next up The Coil. In fact from its first breath, the song has a catchy virulence which had body and spirit dancing like a puppet as ears and imagination succumbed to its brooding breath and increasingly rabid contagion. Després and Evans cast another riveting web of enterprise and technical prowess which alone compels attention but with fine vocals and a rhythmic manipulation to song and ears which directs reactions, the track is another major incitement within Diatribe.
All songs live up to that description though, the fiery and ridiculously infective Eye Above indisputable proof. Through the album the rhythmic incitement of bassist Athanasios ‘Saki’ Patsiouras and drummer Joe Wilkes is irresistible as it is dextrous but within the fourth track they simply seize instincts and appetite with their combined enterprise and drive. Their tenacious spine and leadership just sparks a matching hunger and endeavour from the rest of the band, every element of the track ambitious and ferocious, inventive and unpredictable.
The album’s title track brings things to a might close, the wiry net of enticement cast by the guitars around again voracious rhythms setting the tone of track and temptation. It is a carnivorous yet galvanic proposal grabbing easy attention and greed, a predator of a song again as virulently infectious as it is imaginatively gripping for a conclusion which alone makes the most rousing and memorable experience.
Across every single second, Diatribe was a major treat and adventure impossible to get enough of. Already 2019 has offered some truly striking and thrilling releases; Malum Sky has added another and one surely thrusting the band to the fore of the UK metal scene.
Diatribe is out now through Sliptrick Records across most stores.
Pete RingMaster 02/02/2019
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