I first encountered Leviathan on 2014’s Beholden to Nothing, Braver Since Then. I enjoyed that record, so have made sure to catch up with the band every time they produce something new; 2018’s Can’t be Seen by Looking: Blurring the Lines, Clouding the Truth and 2020’s Words Waging War, specifically. With a duration of 40 minutes Mischief of Malcontent is significantly shorter than any of the above releases, so what does it have to offer?
Leviathan’s mix of power and progressive metal is well-written, professionally delivered, and is based around strong songwriting. What’s not to like?
These new songs sound slightly heavier to my ears, and have plenty of meaty riffs to get your teeth into. The band are more than capable technically, but their main aim is the construction of a solid set of songs with all the right moving parts and the right level of depth and emotion. In this they succeed. The singer sounds arguably better than ever, and I like his performance on these songs. He demonstrates his range well across the music and handles all of the material well.
The engaging material is catchy and memorable. The songs boast a lot of hooks that firmly ensnare the listener; Leviathan are no stranger to being able to belt out a good tune, but this new collection of tracks feels particularly strong. Time will tell, of course, but initial impressions tell me that this is some of their best work.
Mischief of Malcontent is a capable and enjoyable album, with much to offer fans of classic progressive metal.