Slagmark – Radical Malice

Band: Slagmark
Title: Radical Malice
Label: Purity Through Fire
Release date: 30 October 2020
Country: Germany
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording

For this week, a hardcore type of black metal was on the menu as the German duo Slagmark is releasing an EP this coming Friday titled “Radical Malice”. As already predicted the four tracks it includes are all named something dark and miserable, and I just couldn’t wait to be dragged into the darkness.

And no time was wasted. “Behold the Raging Darkness” is first in line with full frontal black metal and extremely noticeably shrieking and powerful vocals which have a lot of meat to them. What it also includes are some lo-fi drums which usually isn’t the best formula for something like this, however, first impressions are not bad at all. The production could undeniably be better, but I guess this is normal for true black metal. Quite the nice and impressive opener.

The title track, “Radical Malice”, is next in line and is very much in the same manners as the first one. While the verse is quite melodic the bridge between the verse and the chorus is faster and once again the vocals are phat and convincing. There appears however to be something missing, and that is a bass guitar. It´s just not there, and if it is it needs to kick it up a notch because I can’t hear it.

“Loathing Spreads” has an interesting and different opening, almost some sort of a happy sounding vibe surrounds the listener, and that feeling is actually kept after the vocals come in. The vocals are what makes this EP in my opinion, and I think ill even go out on a limb and say that if the vocals were bad then this would just sound like another homemade demo tape. This track just like the previous one goes in the same manners which sort of makes them blend together a bit more than you would like them to. What it does have to offer however is when the drums go blast beating the most, the riffs are more melodic and that is where the music really shines through.

“Hate Redemption” has a classic four-on-the-snare intro which is always enjoyable. The same semi fast drumming and riffing is present as previously, and it´s obvious that the remainder of the duo´s firepower is being used for this final track. It´s a bit more aggressive and spot on which makes it different and has an easier time speaking to the listener than the previous tracks.

Overall, I was more impressed than bored, which is mostly what you expect. It won’t necessarily break any barriers, but I am sure the true black metal fans will enjoy this EP. The performance is good, but the production could surely be better. 7/10 Julia Katrin

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