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Malice: New Breed Of Godz

Having split some seventeen years ago, it seemed as though the Malice story was long finished. Although considering I own both of the band's previous albums - In The Beginning (1985) and Licence To Kill (1986) - I'm not complaining about their re-emergence with this part new/part re-recorded best of album. Actually, with a slightly altered line-up, Malice have been kicking about the live circuit on and off for some six years now, with the original trio of guitarists Jay Reynolds and Mick Zane and bassist Mark Behn being joined by one-time Black 'n' Blue drummer Pete Holmes and Helstar singer James Rivera. That line-up is responsible for the eight re-recorded tracks on New Breed Of Godz, while Robert Cardenas (Agent Steel) handles bass on the four new songs recorded specially for this release and will also be joining the band on their forthcoming tour.

For the uninitiated Malice basically sounded - and sound - like Judas Priest, with the wailing twin guitar attack from Reynolds and Zane leaning heavily on Downing and Tipton for inspiration and then singer James Neal sounding uncannily like a certain Mr. Rob Halford. However, for all of their lack of originality, there's no denying that Malice were damn good at hammering out blistering riffs, breakneck drum fills and ear-piercing screams. Thankfully, nothing has changed! Collecting together four songs from each of the band's two previous full length releases and adding for new songs, what is most striking about New Breed Of Godz, is that it in no way does it sound like a compilation. Yes all the songs have been giving a hefty boot in the ass in terms of production values, however the four new tracks slot into the classic Malice sound seamlessly. Unsurprisingly Rivera is another Halford-alike, with a glass shattering howl and an earthy, gravely bark - in short he's perfect for this type of stuff, something that the opening salvo of newbie "New Breed Of Godz" and first album classic "Hell Rider" perfectly illustrate. Other reworked tracks that really stand out are mid-paced stomper "Stellar Master", the twin guitar assault of "Against The Empire" and "Air Attack", where Rivera is given the chance to really use his full vocal range and power.

Of the new tracks, the title cut is probably the most memorable, but there's no doubt that "Slipping Through The Cracks", the slow-building "Winds Of Death (Angel Of Light)" and especially the full on attack of "Branded" suggest that any future new Malice release will be something to seriously look forward to.

A welcome return from a band that I didn't realise that I missed as much as I did!

Track Listing
1. New Breed Of Godz (new song)
2. Hell Rider
3. Against The Empire
4. Branded (new song)
5. Sinister Double
6. Circle Of Fire
7. Stellar Masters
8. Winds Of Death (Angel Of Light) (new song)
9. Air Attack
10. Chain Gang Woman
11. Slipping Through The Cracks (new song)
12. Godz Of Thunder

Added: May 19th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: The Official Malice WebSite
Hits: 2606
Language: english

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