Opening their account in pretty convincing style…
Review by Paul Castles
Release date: 24 February 2015
At first hearing it’s understandable if Malphas trick us into thinking the band’s heretic roots are planted somewhere in Scandinavia. The emotive pulsing blackened charge of energy lends itself to the best of Swedish melodic metal, perhaps along the lines of someone like At The Gates. Anyway, not for the first time, first impressions prove incorrect as these newcomers in fact hail from Philadelphia.
The Conjuring is their debut five-track EP and a pretty good stab of things it is too, featuring pummeling drums, searing guitar solos and plenty of deepened black bellows. Not full on savage enough to be labeled death metal and not quite charred enough to fall under the black metal banner, Malphas definitely reside in the melodic corner of the room, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. The Conjuring carries a symphonic thread through its heart as well, the opening title track commencing and ending with a cathedral organ in full flow.
I’ve been reliably informed that the inspiration behind Malphas – and the lyrical content of this EP – is the 39th Goetic spirit in demonology who serves as the grand president and general of hell, commanding legions of demons and appearing before conjurers in the form of a crow. That sounds satanic enough although Malphas shy away from the full on battledress stage garb of the likes of Dimmu Borgir. Putting the costume department to one side, what we have here is a pretty convincing debut from the Philly quartet, which comes in at around 25 minutes.
‘Shards of Truth’ rides on the back of a soaring riff and the frenzied melodies and snarling vocals create a perfect platform for Malphas to deliver their scintillating sound while stormtrooper ‘Legions’ is an even harder animal but one broken down with a powerful solo that comes to the fore at the halfway point.
‘Visions of the Burning Darkness’ is not quite as bleak as its name actually suggests and while it does spit out plenty of fiery rebukes it is also driven by some great sweeping rhythms. The symphonic side of Malphas is to the fore again on the closing ‘Heaven’s Fall’ which features some angelic-like harmonies and another head-spinning solo. All in all, Malphas have opened their account in pretty convincing style. Their full length debut release will be one to watch out for.
7 out of 10
- The Conjuring
- Shards of Truth
- Visions of the Burning Darkness
- Heaven’s Fall