If you've been following the deathcore scene over the last year or so, surely at one point or another you've crossed paths with SHRINE OF MALICE, most likely in the form of their debut track "Beelzebub" that caught the attention of extreme metal fans across the world. Its slowly, calm building intro leads into vocals that sound like they come straight from Beelzebub himself, which further leads into wailing, violent guitars and mind-numbing drums that will pile drive your eardrums into the fucking ground! The first ominous, distant breakdown you get greeted with is simply foreshadowing for the filth the band delivers later on in the form of a very vile breakdown that anybody who fucks with the ever-growing blackened deathcore sound will no doubt appreciate, which makes sense why it is the kick-off track to their latest offering. Since hearing it, these guys caught my attention from the very start and just about a year later, Shrine of Malice are back - this time delivering their debut EP "Malignance" further proving that they are not to be fucked with when it comes to heavy. The Las Vegas-based band pulled in some of the finest vocalists in the genre to help conjure up the sound that they were looking to capture for "Malignance" and goddamn was it worth the fucking wait.
Following up to "Beelzebub" on the new album is "Hollow Sockets" which - just seconds in - is a non-verbal call for violence with its chuggy, demanding guitars. And before you know it, you're quickly sucked into pure death metal goodness as the full band chimes in and launches you into chaotic as fuck brutality. You get to hear plenty of high-pitched vocals throughout the song which sound sick; I know some people are hesitant to listen to tracks that feature such high vocals but holy shit does it work for these guys, especially since it is often paired with those crazy-ass demonic, insane lows: and the pairing is absolutely epic and welcomed. And don't worry, there's plenty of action going on from the rest of the band as the guitars and drums go absolutely insane, delivering pounding after pounding with a sick, melodic twist. It's non-stop heavy from the first second to the last, and I have a very good feeling that Shrine of Malice's sound will appeal to fans across the metal scene. These features are not limited to just "Hollow Sockets" though, so don't get it twisted: track after track, it feels like you'll be greeted with a heavier, more punishing sound than the last. It is because of their well-crafted sound that the guest spots that they brought in for "Malignance" fits so perfectly. The first feature you'll come across is Rheese Peters - formerly of A Night In Texas and currently of The Senate - on the track "The Furtherance." As the band literally proclaims "God is dead" through their lyrics, there's definitely no hiding what these dudes are feeling or the message they are trying to convey. There's no words to describe how downright heavy this song goes without actually giving it a listen - luckily the band dropped a lyric video to the track so before even going any further, give this shit a listen:
"Malignance" pushes on as the legendary Dan Watson of Enterprise Earth and Mire Lore jumps in on The Stairwell - a song which contains my favorite intro as the vocalist flat out screams "destined for death" at you before launching you into full on apocalyptic death metal. If you want heavy, THIS is heavy - my personal favorite track off the EP, this song gets so low, so insanely fucking heavy and intense there's few bands who can piece together something this gnarly so early on in their career, and when they do, they are usually destined for greatness. Mind you, these are my feelings before Watson even makes his appearance at the end of the track - which only drags you down further into the depths of Hell; if you know Dan Watson's style, you know just how dirty he can get, and he definitely delivers his signature style of "holy shit" on the song. Talk about a perfectly chosen guest spot. To close out Malignance, Shrine of Malice teamed up with one of deathcore's finest and my personal favorite vocalist Tom Barber, formerly of Lorna Shore and currently of Chelsea Grin, to put together the pure madness that is "Lord of Flies," a 7+ minute long epic track that combines all of the finest elements the band have tested over the rest of the album. It's truly a work of goddamn metal art that is undoubtedly going to put the band on many people's radar. Overall, Malignance is a truly powerful and damning album that paints vivid pictures in your mind and blast beats the hell out of your soul. Shrine of Malice have proved through their incredible writing and performing - along with the high quality of their recording and visual releases - that they are ready to tackle the masses and drag 'em all to Hell with them. This album NEEDS to be heard. Don't fucking skip this - they're coming for the world.
If you like what you hear in the video above for "The Furtherance," you can find the full EP Malignance on most streaming services or at the bands Bandcamp. Also be sure to check out Shrine of Malice on Facebook as well as Instagram. Shrine is a fucking cult.