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Malice - "New Breed Of Godz" (CD)

Malice - "New Breed Of Godz" CD cover image

"New Breed Of Godz" track listing:

1. New Breed Of Godz
2. Hell Rider
3. Against The Empire
4. Branded
5. Sinister Double
6. Circle Of Fire
7. Stellar Masters
8. Winds Of Death (Angel Of Light)
9. Air Attack
10. Chain Gang Woman
11. Slipping Through The Cracks
12. Godz Of Thunder

Reviewed by on June 4, 2012

"There are those that will dismiss Malice's 'New Breed Of Godz' as nothing more than a well-performed Judas Priest pastiche, and I can't say I'd blame them."

Malice's new album may be called "New Breed Of Godz," but the band's definitely paying tribute to some elder metal gods. The band's never been shy about calling Judas Priest one of its influences, but from the falsetto shrieks to the dual-guitar assault and even a motorcycle revving up to open "Hell Rider," plenty of tunes on this album almost flirt with tribute band territory. That said, when a band does such a good job of emulating a classic sound, can that really be a bad thing?

Of course, it'd all fall apart if Malice didn't have a singer capable of replicating the famed Rob Halford scream. Fortunately, new singer James Rivera does just that, delivering vocal cord-shredding performances on the title track, as well as "Hell Rider," "Circle Of Fire" and, frankly most of the other tracks on the album. He also does a good job capturing the sound of Halford's lower range on the quieter "Winds Of Death (Angel Of Light)."

Guitarists Mick Zane and Jay Reynolds do the Tipton-and-Downing thing well, with "Chain Gang Woman" having the kind of strutting riff that would've fit right in on "British Steel." The solos on songs like "Sinister Double" are just as impressive as they were during the band's 1980s heyday.

That said, just as Judas Priest occasionally served up a platter full of cheese, some of these songs don't exactly come off well on the lyrical front. "Stellar Masters" is especially silly, with lyrics referencing physics and time dilation, though the siren-assisted "Air Attack" finishes a close second on that front.

Also, if you followed the band back in the day, you likely have most of these songs (albeit with a different singer performing), as only four of them are new. The rest are re-recordings of the band's earlier songs.

There are those that will dismiss Malice's "New Breed Of Godz" as nothing more than a well-performed Judas Priest pastiche, and I can't say I'd blame them. There are also those that don't care about such things and just want to rock out, Priest-style — and I gotta say, this album does give you the chance to do just that.

Highs: "Hell Rider," "Sinister Double" and "Chain Gang Woman."

Lows: "Air Attack" and "Stellar Masters."

Bottom line: An album that faithfully reproduces the classic Judas Priest sound, but without much by way of creativity.

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)