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  MALICE
'New Breed Of Godz'
(SPV/Steamhammer)


Phil Kane

phil kane

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malice new breed of godz


Now here's a blast from the past. Malice originally prowled the world's stages in the eighties and did reasonably well too. A 2006 reunion proved popular enough for founding members Mick Zane and Jay Reynolds, guitars, bassist Mark Behn and new drummer Pete Holmes (Black n' Blue) to resurrect the band. For 'New Breed Of Godz' Metal screecher James Rivera was drafted in to cover the mic. Perhaps now just a footnote in the hollowed annals of Metal but in their time Malice did carry some influence.

Malice's original studio output never quite managed to capture the crunch of their live act and to be honest, the band never rose beyond second league status; good enough to support the likes of Alice Cooper, Slayer and W.A.S.P but never receiving the necessary kudos to be major stage headliners in their own right.

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On 'New Breed Of Godz' you can hear why. Yes the album has drive and all the prerequisite Metal ingredients are all present and correct but Malice get too close to being a Priest tribute act for comfort. The CD has twelve tracks of which only four are new; the title track, 'Branded', 'Winds Of Death (Angel Of Light)' and 'Slipping Through The Cracks'. The rest are pretty faithful re-recordings of tracks taken from their two albums and the process has certainly benefited them, especially the songs from the 'License To Kill' record but you could say this is basically a best of... with four new bonus tracks. The thing that's missing is the true innovative spirit of their peers.

With all the songs on 'New Breed Of Godz' being recorded during the same Silver Cloud Studio sessions, the new stuff has been rendered indefinable from the re-hashes which suggests that the boys have, a) a yearning to return to, or have never left their eighties womb or b) have managed to refine their art to the nth degree.

If the old stuff had been released in this form in say, 1989 or before, then Malice may have turned a few more heads but now it, and they, sound quaintly dated; a legacy act of questionable value and an album that salutes an age that has long gone.

You can't beat a dose of good old fashioned Heavy Metal a la Priest and in 'New Breed Of Godz' we have a particularly fine example. The sales pitch claims that the similarities are more to do with image but if truth be told Malice stuck so closely to the Priest plan of attack that they were always in danger of being no more than a very good tribute act and listening to this you can tell.

This package also includes as DVD with rare live footage from 1987, three live tracks from Keep It True Festival, Germany 2011 and a Making of 'New Breed Of Godz' album.

To be fair, Priest do this stuff a lot better and with a greater sense of the ridiculous and camp without which this sort of West Coast Metal just doesn't work. Either as an introduction to Malice or as a sop to ease the pain caused by the lack of any new Priest material it works quite well but with its value to existing fans seemingly very limited, a sop is really the best this album can hope to be.

12.6.12


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