Malakhim - Theion review

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Band: Malakhim
Album: Theion
Release date: January 2021

01. There Is A Beacon
02. Merciless Angel Of Pestilence
03. Slither O Serpent
04. Chalice Of Ruin
05. His Voiceless Whisper
06. Hammer Of Satan
07. The Splendour Of Stillborn Stars
08. Theion

Such mysticism.‭ ‬Such wickedness.‭ ‬Such mastery.

Malakhim means‭ "‬Holy Servants"‬ in Hebrew.‭ ‬And if that was not yet clear,‭ ‬they are referring to being Servants of The Unholy One.‭ ‬If you have‭ ‬sensitivity to satanic imagery,‭ ‬you might as well stop reading now.‭ ‬The theme,‭ ‬lyrics,‭ ‬and general atmosphere ooze trve malevolent black metal.‭ ‬The mysterious Swedish‭ ‬quintet has been active since‭ ‬2016‭ ‬and has already released a demo,‭ ‬an EP,‭ ‬and a live EP.‭ ‬An express sonic review told me I had been missing out on an incredibly promising band.‭ ‬Theion is their debut full-length offering and is hopefully here to confirm their full potential.

The first surprise is that this album is not a rehash of their previous material.‭ ‬Most bands would have re-recorded the songs on the EP and tacked on the ones from their demo,‭ ‬called it their debut and nobody would have complained.‭ ‬Seeing the quality of those earlier songs,‭ ‬it‭ ‬would have been a fine debut album indeed.‭ ‬But no,‭ ‬Theion is completely original material.‭

No frills here; their brand of orthodox black metal is precise and crushing.‭ No one is shoe-gazing or post-doing anything. ‬"There is a Beacon‭"‬ has got to be one of the most intense openers I have heard lately.‭ ‬It grabs your attention and never lets go for close to‭ ‬7‭ ‬minutes.‭ I‬t sounds retro in style with shades of fellow countrymen Dark Funeral and at times of Dissection‭ (most ‬notably on‭ "Merciless Angel of Pestilence‭"‬).‭ ‬However,‭ ‬it also evokes modern bands such as Uada,‭ ‬Gaerea,‭ ‬or Mgła.‭ ‬It would be hard to pin their overall sound in time.‭ ‬Let‭'s just agree to state that Malakhim have found the perfect balance.‭ ‬It is both extreme and memorable.

Whoever the singer is,‭ ‬he is doing an awesome job at channeling Niklas Kvarforth‭ of ‬Shining‭ ‬on‭ "Slither O Serpent‭".‭ ‬It is obvious that the band members must all be seasoned musicians.‭ ‬The songs are really tight,‭ ‬fast,‭ ‬intense and perfectly rendered.‭ ‬Not more so than‭ "Hammer of Satan", which is not a power ballad‬.‭ ‬The production is pitch perfect.‭ ‬It makes me‭ ‬want to turn it up even more to fully enjoy it all.‭ ‬Also,‭ ‬the menacing artwork is sublime.‭

Theion is what I would expect traditional black metal to sound like in‭ ‬2021:‭ ‬Intense yet clear,‭ ‬mystic,‭ ‬evil yet captivating.‭ ‬This is full of emotion,‭ ‬full of energy.‭ ‬Malakhim set the bar really high in‭ ‬2021‭ ‬for other acts to follow.‭ ‬And as a bonus,‭ ‬you can also explore their earlier material since they chose not to use those demo and EP songs.‭ ‬This might be the slap in the face you need to start the year on a positive albeit malign note.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Written on 10.01.2021 by Bringing you reviews of quality music and interesting questions such as:

"A picture is worth a thousand words. How many words is a song worth?"

I have only got so much patience and skills, you do the math.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 96 users
11.01.2021 - 11:07
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Great band, dark wicked atmosfere in great forward flowing black metal
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
13.01.2021 - 03:03
At best deranged
Gave this one a spin earlier today and was pleasantly surprised. Like you mentioned it feels pretty traditional with some modern touches to it. Looking forward to their future releases.

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