Malice Divine- Everlasting Ascendancy (Self-Released)

Wednesday, 15th November 2023
Rating: 10 / 10

Toronto’s Ric Galvez is carving out his own one-man niche in the melodic side of death and black metal and has been doing so since 2019. His second album, Everlasting Ascendancy, dropped early this year, and should be conquering many a playlist, including yours.

The opening chords of first track “Silenced Judgment” are an immediate and urgent triumph and sound as though they came from a full-on band that already has decades of material in its arsenal. Immortal, early In Flames, Children of Bodom, Dark Tranquility, and Dissection can be throughout songs such as “Apparitions of Conquest,” “At One With Infinity,” the science-fiction-tinged “Parasitic Demons,” inspirational ripper “Reclaimed Strength,” and the epic closer that is the title cut. A glorious blizzard of a record with nary a squandered moment, Everlasting Ascendancy is a frost-crowned achievement, a thrill-ride with enough twists and turns to make even a jaded, fatigued fan dizzy and euphoric. The stunning songcraft and intoxicatingly impossible musicianship alone set it above the teeming hordes in what are two crowded genres. Yet, it goes a step further by bridging them together with an icy intelligence, skill, and creativity that will remind listeners of why they got hooked on both variants of underground metal to begin with.

Warning: Do not disregard Malice Divine. Ric Galvez is poised to become as an important a solitary sentinel to melodic black and death metal as Trevor William Church has in the traditional heavy metal field with Haunt. Woe to those sleep on this act for they deserve to have their dreams invaded…and they may not want to awaken, Everlasting Ascendancy being the stuff of spectacular, exhilarating, and recurring sonic nightmares.

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