Release DetailsLABEL Gomek Records
RELEASED ON 1/1/2006
posted on 1/2006 By:
Here's an entry into the modern American scene that's a lot more interesting than a good deal of what I've been exposed to lately. Malakai's Chasing Demon's EP isn't really as consistent as I'd like, but there's enough intensity and variation on display here to separate this group from a majority of the pack. And, that's no easy task.
On the surface, we have a typical post-Pantera thrash record with the expected Lamb Of God, and any number of metallic hardcore influences. But stick with me, because as redundant and tiresome as that description makes Malakai sound, they're actually doing some really interesting things with this style. “Convulsing” opens the album with dropped tuned, acrobatic riffing before switching up tempos at around the one minute mark for some bluesy, mid paced pentatonic riffing. However, the first real sign of promise and distinction comes at the conclusion of “Convulsing” where the rhythm section lays down a simple but memorable chord progression for the lead man to play a dark and unexpectedly virtuosic solo over. “Bitter Tomorrows” is aggressive, but totally unmoving. It's basically a song that that's been written and played dozens of times by a dozens bands in this style. However, the potential for above board songwriting surfaces again on the under three-minutes-long “Chasing Demons,” which turns out sounding almost epic due to the variety of riffs and time changes on display. There's a straightforward, strumming chord progression that comes halfway through the track that does just a great job of breaking up the series of more up tempo and intricate riffs that define this song, and really, the entire album. The drum work of Jameson Becker, who displays talent as both a solid backbone , transition man and blaster, is of particular merit. Many of the riffs here come to life thanks to Becker's subtle and expertly placed changes in tempo.
The fact that this album didn't give me an aneurysm says a lot. There are so many bands attempting this style right now, that it's really something when one them doesn't compel me to bleed myself all over my laptop. But then again, I'm only an album reviewer. I got this EP for free, and I'm really only impressed because it's not as bad as it could be. I'm serious about how talented the drummer is, and there are definitely some riffs that bend the cookie-cutter here. But, I'm gonna need have to wait until Malakai fully realize the potential they show on this CD before I can recommend their material to anybody.
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