Maligner – Attraction to Annihilation (Review)

MalignerMaligner are a Swedish death/thrash metal band and this is their debut album.

On Attraction to Annihilation Maligner offer up 30 minutes of savage death/thrash metal. This is some quality stuff.

Maligner’s music is deeply rooted in the old-school, taking death and thrash metal influences from the 80s and seamlessly blending them together without a care for any form of genre purity. This is, of course, exactly what extreme music should always be doing; no boundaries, except what you choose to impose on yourself.

Savage and violent this may be, but Maligner’s music is very much focused on crafting a fully-formed and complete song. This is not a band that are fast/aggressive/etc. for the sake of it. Nope, everything here is subservient to producing a storming metal tune, albeit one that’s born of the underground and is nasty as Hell.

The music is well-written and it’s clear very early on that the band have an intimate grasp of thrash metal songwriting. Enhanced with death metal’s core ferocity, these tracks are fiery and thoroughly engaging. Maligner sound like they should be able to cause utter carnage live. The songs have plenty of sonic muscles, powered by the band’s songcraft and fine delivery, but aided and abetted by a very strong recording. It’s breakneck stuff.

There are also some very enjoyable solos here.

Full of punishing blast beats, ripping riffs and visceral attitude, Attraction to Annihilation channels the best and fastest of what 80s extreme metal had to offer, although it would be a mistake to think of Maligner as purely being stuck in the old-school; they have learned a few tricks from more recent times too. Think a mix of bands such as Kreator, Sodom, Death, Pestilence, etc. mixed in with a healthy dose of added modern day extremity and bolstered with a heavy, gritty production. If that sounds good, then let me assure you that Attraction to Annihilation sounds even better.

If you’re a fan of old-school thrash metal, but crave something more aggressive, then this is for you, especially if you also favour bands that adopt a song-based approach. This is a brief album of very satisfying material, combining memorability and instant appeal with plenty of replay value. Maligner’s debut album is a rough, violent gem.

Very highly recommended.

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