At thius moment, it appears everything is working in this band’s favor. Not only does this Swedish act have a bit of a following for a debut demo but everything from the aesthetic, to sound, to just general presence seems to be working together. This is probably why this demo is making its rounds in small internet circles as Malakhim doesn’t ask for patience rather throws a chair at its listener within the first few seconds.
Listening to straight black metal can be challenging not because it is a difficult style but rather it is a field that has been excavated endlessly. Asking a listener to sit down with black metal without the promise of things like speed, punk, death, or harrowing power electronics can be tough unless the music is stellar. Without anything else to offer other than scathing emotions, Malakhim’s first demo succeeds in not only capturing attention but holding it just with the promise of black metal.
One of this demo’s success is not to bury its sound under low fidelity or even dissonance. As someone who loves noise in most forms, the interest in Malakhim comes with the band’s grooves and rhythms which rip through this demo at night on horseback. Songs like “The Golden Shrines” have such variance and tenacity it almost reminds me of why I was attracted to this style of music in the first place. Gushing emotions aside, Malakhim succeeds on all fronts with a demo that is perhaps the better releases of the year.