One of the best debut demo tapes released last year comes from Sweden, of course. Umea to be exact, the birth place of Malakhim, the new band in town when it comes to black metal.
Released first in October 2017 on the band’s Bandcamp page, Demo I gained immediately a “cult” status in the black metal underground, so when the tape version was officially announced one month later, it got sold out in several hours. For me that was a huge surprise, but considering how the three tracks sounded, the reaction was completely justified. When 100 copies go away in less than a day, there must be something “wrong” with your music, right? It must be that good!
This self released demo tape contains 3 songs of unrelenting black metal, polished with a touch of both old and new influences. The result is 16 minutes of cold riffs, blast beats, mid tempo parts, crunchy bass lines and raspy vocals, all shrouded in a sinister atmosphere, just perfect to raise the dead. Did I say Raise the Dead? I really like the fact that even though somewhere through the songs you can hear some remnants of the past, the band does not abuse those influences, using them to channel their own energy and style instead. Yes, even if the band is young, Malakhim has already created a style of their own. Listen closely and you will see what I am talking about.
Demo I contains 16 minutes of darkness, taking you on a journey through the other side of life, a side of the thousand burning worlds, where the endless nights forever dwell. With these first 3 songs of their until now short career, Malakhim have created one of the most powerful demo tapes I have ever listened to in the past years. Intense and overwhelming, this material will definitely appeal to those looking for the type of black metal which, even if not original, is honest and creates emotions inside the listener.
Besides the music, another strong point of this great demo are the lyrics. Many times, unfortunately, black metal has been associated with really bad lyrics, but that is not the case with Malakhim. If you read them carefully, you’ll soon realize they are not your average “satanic” lyrics, praising the devil and hailing the darkness only because this is the right way to do it. No. While definitely dark, the words transpose the listener/reader into a sombre world where dreadful things can happen, whether you like it or not.
For the picture to be complete, good music always has to come hand in hand with some cool artwork, and Malakhim‘s demo is no different. From the logo created by Sindre Foss Skancke to the beautiful art designed by Karmazid, Demo I is an outstanding debut of a very promising band I am pretty sure we’ll hear more about in the near future.
Even if the tape has been sold out, in January 2018 the mighty Iron Bonehead Productions has released the CD version, limited to 500 copies, which will be followed by the LP version later this spring. If you haven’t manage to lay your hands on the tape, you can still get your copy before it’s too late.
Keep an eye on this band, you won’t be sorry!
To the Death!
“Come darkness of the underworld
Come torrents of shadow ready to devour
Come fires of the great beyond
Come whirlwinds of inferno to burn all to ash”
Demo I tracklist:
1. A Thousand Burning Worlds
2. The Mass of Flesh
3. The Golden Shrines
E – Vocals
AN – Guitars
AK – Guitars
TK – Bass
VT – Drums