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Malecoda - "The Hordes of Annihilation" (CD)

Malecoda - "The Hordes of Annihilation" CD cover image

"The Hordes of Annihilation" track listing:

1. Invocation To Extinction (1:02)
2. The Hordes Of Annihilation (4:18)
3. The Abominable Sin (4:02)
4. Inhuman Suffering (1:22)
5. Angel Overthrown (2:48)

Reviewed by on January 7, 2009

"The flaws present are surprisingly few in number considering that all five of these tracks were recorded, produced, and mixed by just three guys working entirely on their own."

For anyone who missed the memo, the human species is doomed. Whether it’s an all-seeing eye atop a tower seeking out a certain ring, a horned goat and his blood soaked minions, psychotic killers eviscerating their fellow man, or an all-out nuclear holocaust, death metal bands have been grunting, shrieking, and screaming about the apocalypse for over twenty years running. Malecoda has continued that time honored tradition with their debut EP, “The Hordes of Annihilation,” which isn’t content to settle on just one kind of end of the world scenario, but instead goes for two. With tanks and Tsathoggua, shotguns and Shoggoths, “The Hordes of Annihilation” will ensure there are no survivors as modern warfare meets the great slumbering beast from beneath the waves.

Opener “Invocation to Extinction” follows the same path as quite a few albums that have come before, building up a military style drum beat and then throwing in some eerie sound effects and chanting for that upside down pentagram sort of occult vibe. It certainly doesn’t come close to breaking any new ground, but it’s done well enough to keep the interest level running on a nice medium-high setting. The inevitable heavy and distorted guitar onslaught roars out at as the song ends and the title track begins. Malecoda breaks out of the overdone formula set by the intro and uses some very interesting layered guitar parts that briefly transcend the standard death metal style and show some real promise.

The guitar playing in general will provoke furious head banging and is definitely the main draw for the EP. From the face pulverizing riffs of “The Abominable Sin” to the seriously thrash influenced notes of “Angel Overthrown,” there is a good deal of heavy string madness to work through in the short 15 minute runtime. Once the glory of the guitar starts to wear off the less polished aspects of “The Hordes of Annihilation” start to show through. It won’t take long to notice that the drums are programmed, as Malecoda had only two members and a guest musician while recording their initial effort. The programming job is serviceable and never really distracts from the songs, but anyone expecting Hellhammer type rapid fire blasts will be seriously disappointed. The instrumental track “Inhuman Suffering” sports a bit of a misstep as well, with an unfortunately cheesy ending consisting of less than evil sounding laughter.

The flaws present are surprisingly few in number considering that all five of these tracks were recorded, produced, and mixed by just three guys working entirely on their own. Even the highly fitting album artwork was drawn by the vocalist. With a few extra members and a bigger budget, Malecoda should be able to stake a claim in the death metal crowd and maybe even nudge out a few of the less talented bands to take a place within arms reach of the top.

“The Hordes of Annihilation” is a supplication at the altar of death metal, featuring flashy guitar play and decent vocals and drums. Although the EP is a little short on content with its short play length and occasional problems, it really demonstrates that death metal isn’t as lifeless as it appears and still has plenty to offer the world of metal.

Highs: Great guitar work that breaks out of the standard death metal style repeatedly

Lows: Programmed drums and a cheesy instrumental

Bottom line: An intriguing if somewhat formulaic debut from a new American death metal act ready to jump into the big leagues

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)