The Maledict – Dread

Rating: 4/5
Released: 2016
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Malpr1Band line up:

Ian McLean – Guitar/Vocals
Karl Freitag – Drums
Stuart Henry – Guitar
Stuart McCarthy – Bass/Vocals

  1. Tenebrae
  2. Fast Unto The End
  3. Frozen
  4. Column Of Voracious Souls
  5. A Muse In Requiem
  6. Carrion Art
  7. In The Lips And Hearts
  8. Deadened Eyes To The Horizon
The countless times I’ve heard even fans of heavy music say they don’t like death metal because you can’t hear the lyrics has often puzzled me. The reason for my confusion is, when the genre is done well, you can decipher the words, and often a lot better than with some supposedly clean vocals. Take Australian deathly doomsters The Maledict for instance. The vocals here are as menacing and throaty as any but every word is crystal clear, so much so that Ian McLean even manages to throw in some theatrical nuances which enhance the songs even more.

There are so many of these types of bands around these days that it’s easy for them to end up blurring into an unrecognisable mass; the need to be proficient and carve something new has never been more important. ‘Dread’, while sticking to well tested paths, does let them converge in interesting places which, while there are no real surprises, do still manage to keep the interest level high.

The production is a bit soup like in places reminding me of old grind core albums from a few years back. This means a little bit of crispness and conviction gets lost here and there.

The thing that The Maledict have done better than most though is to write songs which stray towards being very long without drowning in self indulgence. This is one of the few records I’ve heard in a while that has a couple of tracks that go beyond ten minutes and still keep your attention. That alone marks them out as a kind of extreme metal Pink Floyd. For a first album in a saturated genre ‘Dread’ is an excellent effort, it’s not perfect but it’s as perfect an album as The Maledict could have made right now, and it shows a band capable of gracing the top table of death metal in the not so distant future.
Review by Gary Trueman