Australia’s black/thrash tendencies are unarguably at their peak. The country is almost like a frothing, eruptive volcano when it comes to unleashing relentless, unbridled music upon the place. I was content enough to see that Malichor was yet another act interested in the bestial aesthetics of the ancient and raw blackened thrash metal sound, but I was even happier when I heard that the band’s four track Ep ‘’Lurkers In The Crypt’’ offered tidbits of more cunning music, fitted nicely in the gaunt black metal textures. Although both the cover art and album title suggests that the band’s ideology on black/thrash is no different from the cumulative armies forming vigorously around the Australian scene, the music actually proves to be fresher splash in the face than anticipated.
Malichor still doesn’t bring anything utterly inventive on the table, though their slight distinction is an element that can enlarge into a sound more sophisticated in the future. Well, future plans are for another day, so let’s just scrutinize the meal in front of us. Like I said, although Malichor doesn’t entirely deviate from traditional elements, ‘’Lurkers In The Crypt’’ escapes the entirely overwhelming effect of gimmicking giving birth to something relatively fresher. Malichor focuses on creating a more atmospheric and perhaps even bleaker landscape for the music to breathe and breed on. A raw twist is noticeable in the tone and production, but even though the riffs are generally roughly bedecked and shaped, they sound more enthrallingly misanthropic than furiously tempered and frenetic. Perverse fluctuations occur, of course, but I like how the main focus is on the murkier elements shadowed in the music.
You’ll seldom hear brusque transitions on the Ep as the tempo usually channels around mid-paced tempos. Thrashy chugs, drum-beaten tremolos, and sinister descents are present, which makes for a nice combination of tricks although each one hardly deviates from how it’s played in the books, but it was the atmosphere I enjoyed most, if truth be told, the semi-epic, and culminating aura that enhances the haunting feel of the riffs. ‘’Jackal’s Spell’’ has to be my favourite, therefore, as the track offers an almost Viking metal-like vibe, with a catchy chorus driven by tremolos most probably snatched from the classic Norwegian aesthetics. Even as the music grows aggressive or epic at times, you’ll always be engulfed by the cavernous mysticism captured by the band’s love for Lovecraftian horror. Malichor is more proficient at forming dark atmospheres than training vicious hellhounds for battle, and that’s the path they should stick to. The grasp for reality is still very prevalent, but it will grow tenuous in time, I hope.