Review: When one considers English death metal, too often the simpler grind-influenced bands overwhelm the fine tradition of melodic guitar playing indigenous to a country whose folk music was close enough to American blues to assimilate it into a more complex form. Riffs resembling Necrotism-era Carcass in their balance between boltlike slams and fast picking runs, augmented with the lead rhythm guitar melodic development known more in At the Gates, coalesce into songs which expand like English country houses: built around a boxlike central structure, they diverge into wings which define their own unique shapes and then converge inward, implying but not actualizing a connection.
As such, the experience of listening to Malediction is one of appreciating the surreal. Often songs pick up at the inception with phrasal rhythm riffing reminiscent of Slayer or Pestilence, but then rapidly proliferate into tangentially related tempos and rotunda of melodic fragments associated around a central progression that often harmonizes the boxlike inner "chorus" structure. The degree of variation overwhelms but its rhythms project such an invisible affinity for one another that it holds together compellingly.
Like the best acts among metal and music as a whole, Malediction write songs that reach through an experiential differentation toward a singular conclusion that like the most distinctive works of Black Sabbath both summarizes and answers all conflicts encoded in song so far. These conceptually leveling riffs and insouciant dissonant progressions inundate the listener with an atmosphere-inducing repetition and then evaporate into guitar solos and then restatement of dominant theme. Vocals are gruff tempests and percussion varies between a sage simplicity and adept jazz-influenced timings constrained by the needs of each song. Although relatively unknown this recording gives a significant glimpse of the best of UK metal.