I enjoyed 2017’s Into the Grey, so Malady’s Black Maw is well-received. Combining modern, atmospheric, and blackgaze influences into its post-blackened formula, with a fiery black metal core that everything else is built around, this new album contains 65 minutes of immersive music.
The music combines aggression and atmosphere well. The songs have been streamlined when compared to the ones on Into the Grey, and this approach seems to have served the album well; there are more tracks, but they’re shorter, and packed with content.
The songs are well-written and full of detail. The heavier parts tend to be sharp and cutting, and melody is used well to accompany the razor-sharp rhythms and scathing screams. It’s mainly fast-paced, but not exclusively. The softer, more introspective sections bring in a post-rock influence, and are nicely textured. These offer brief respites from the power of the main distorted assault, and works with them well to produce a blackened tapestry that’s luxurious and rich.
The album is an intense experience, but one that plays with dynamics so as to not become too one-dimensional. Intricacy and nuance lurk within the scything walls of fury, allowing the band to layer their work with plenty for the listener to sink their teeth into. There’s a lot going on in these songs, with the guitarists in particular seemingly not content to just hide in the background; melodies, leads, solos, and a range of different subtleties are included to be discovered. There are also, occasionally, some unexpectedly ferocious riffs lurking here as well, adding a more belligerent side on occasion, although this aspect of the band is kept in check by the more expressive, mood-driven elements.
Malady’s Black Maw is an extremely enjoyable album. I prefer this to Into the Grey, which in itself was a quality listen.
Very highly recommended.