In Malice’s Wake – The Blindness of Faith (Self-Released)

Tuesday, 8th December 2020
Rating: 9/10

Coming to this scribe’s awareness through their third album Light Upon the Wicked in 2015 on Punishment 18 Records, Australian thrash act In Malice’s Wake return to their self-released, independent ways for the fourth full-length The Blindness of Faith. Choosing to look at the dark side of religion on the lyrical scope, the music within these ten tracks has an equally engaging and uncompromising aesthetic – designed for pummeling, and yet quite catchy through the mixture of blitzkrieg riffs, sinister transitions, and shredding/melodic lead breaks.

Many will be mowed down by the weaving of speedy, tasty guitar rhythms against fluid, arpeggio-laced lead spots – as guitarists Shaun Farrugia and Leigh Bartley double down on some triplet picking with Arch Enemy/ Demolition Hammer inflections on “See the Light” as drummer Mark Farrugia elevates his tempos between blasting precision and tenacious thrash that is tight as a whip. These gentlemen have a love of Megadeth and Testament, but also dig into European acts like Onslaught when it comes to pure assault and controlled aggression – its exciting when there are spots of progressive and technical prowess present for segments of “Religious Holocaust” or the mesmerizing tribal-type hits into death /thrash ecstasy through “Houses of God”, the high octane riffing swarming like a mad locust. Intertwining longer songs where these musicians can lay down proper musical extension as well as hit home shorter, four-minute dynamic blasts such as “Into the Outer Darkness” and the mid-tempo follow-up “Ritual Slaughter” ensures very little ear fatigue top to bottom. Another aspect that keeps attention is the vicious snarl and caustic voice that Shaun delivers these words upon – Chuck Billy and Tom Araya would be proud to enjoy his work.

Returning with Chris Themelco in Monolith Studios for the recording and mixing, while mastering at Panic Room Studios – The Blindness of Faith proves In Malice’s Wake can straddle their appeal to the ardent thrashers as well as those who love melodic death. In a just world the quartet would hit the road with a prime time European or American band looking for some serious energy and gain a proper foothold to begin their ascent to headlining status.

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