Malice Divine - Self Titled: Review
One man project Malice Divine packs the punch of a fully complimented band, such is the high level of talent of Toronto's Ric Galvez, the mastermind behind the whole project. Malice Divine was born out of the will for Galvez to transcend his role as just a lead guitarist and show everyone what he was capable of when given full creative control.
The work on the debut offering is tight, consistent, heavy as hell, and stretches the length and breadth of Galvez's range across the black and death metal spectrums, not a huge surprise when you discover he holds a major in music from York University and has featured on Banger TV's Shredders of Metal (if you haven't seen it then it's well worth a binge and available on YouTube). Lyrically the work draws from psychology and spirituality as well as personal experiences especially those involving the overcoming of obstacles and hardships using the resulting verses as a form of empowerment.
The debut album launches February 19th and saw Dylan Gowan (Vesperia, Iomair) lending a hand on session drums. According to Galvez, there are plans to flesh out a live lineup for Divine Malice when he feels the time is right to do so.
The latest single to be released from the record is the 216BPM ripper, 'Malicious Divinity' which premiered via The Circle Pit just a couple of hours before the writing of this post and can be viewed below. (Also be sure to check out The Circle Pit's channel).
There is a lot to enjoy on this record, it's not all thrown out at 100mph, there is a well-crafted ebb and flow to everything when it hit's, it hits hard but there is a lot more to it than that. With some solo acts it seems that there is almost a fear of stepping too much outside of the confines of what the project is "supposed to be" but here with Malice Divine it's setting up its stall early on, right from the off on this debut effort we know that this project is going to very much bring it's own flavour to black and death metal, not afraid to take risks and explore the ranges that sit between the two genres.
Already touted as being ideal for fans of Skeletonwitch and the iconic Death, (with which I'd agree), I'd argue there is something for fans of Emperor, In Flames or the lighter end of some Cradle of Filth all mixed in here too. Overall this is a fantastically entertaining listen and an album that runs deep despite it clocking in at nine tracks. Should this project go the distance, I for one am excited to see what Galvez could do.
You can pre-save the album on digital platforms here