7"vinyl EP - Limited to 300 copies.
200 on Black Vinyl, 50 on Translucent Red Vinyl and 50 copies on Purple Vinyl.
Hot on the heels of their Journey to the Depths demo, reissued last year to critical acclaim by BLOOD HARVEST RECORDS, Belgium's MALEFICENCE return with a fiery new 7" EP entitled Realms of Mortification. Featuring two exclusive new songs, Realms of Mortification shows, with no small amount of bombastic force, that MALEFICENCE have grown leaps and bounds during the past two years. Although the band's foundation in dirty blackthrash remains, there's a palpable (and palatable) sense of refinement here that sacrifices not one ounce of their previous, primordial power; if anything, their songwriting growth and especially recording skills have jointly combined to make their metal more dynamic and more devastating. MALEFICENCE are on the march, and to the Realms of Mortification they'll drag you! - (Nathan T. Birk)
"Last year, Blood Harvest Records took the iron out the fire and struck while it was hot. The renowned label reissued the blasphemous Maleficence demo, Journey to the Depths. The Belgium death metal force now return with two new tracks on Realms of Mortification. Maleficence add some thrash swing to some OBITUARY and DEATH adoration. The songs move quickly, with influences stemming from thrash dudes like SODOM and KREATOR and some ENTOMBED. The music pummels the listener, and growled yet palatable vocals push the death metal agenda. The drumming is superb. Time changes and layered guitar lines keep things interesting. Beyond generic death metal, by infusing blackened thrash—like recent VASTUM, DESTROYER 666, or that swan song from URGEHAL—Maleficence crush this EP" - (New Noise)
"Features two new and exclusive tracks, 'Pyre of Penitence' and 'Of Mortification and Beyond.' Journey to the Depths possessed a raw primordial power, and thankfully, this is still present throughout this new release. 'Pyre of Penitence' features on side A, and following a brief introduction, the first thing noticeable is that whilst their raw black/thrash infrastructure is still present, there’s an element of growth and refinement to be heard, along with a few other elements indicative of musical maturity and progression. For example, the recording/production of Realms of Mortification is more enhanced than previous, their songwriting has improved, and the solos are even quicker and more adept - just listen to side B’s 'Of Mortification and Beyond' to see what I mean. When you combine these elements, you have the formula for some seriously good blackthrash, and this is exactly what Maleficence has delivered. This release is most definitely worth a listen and also proves Maleficence is a band worthy of your support. The only downside with the EP is its duration which is only 10 minutes. This doesn’t detract in any way from the music or what they have achieved between releases; it merely left me keen to hear more. Whether or not Maleficence can maintain this high standard of music across a full-length remains to be seen, but in the meantime, we’ve some fantastic new music that satisfies. A strong blackthrash release from a band showing further potential" - (TheLairOfFilth.com
"Boasting two tracks on this 7”, these Belgian death/thrashers deliver a memorable performance right form the start. After some atmospherics that remind me a little of hell, we get right into the thick of it with driving rhythms, razor-sharp vocal lines, and pumping leads. This is the way that THE CROWN and other acts have done it for years, and damned if I'll complain about it. It's raw, rough and rowdy, which I'd simply have no other way. But that's just the first track. After the death/thrash ensemble, we get into something with a little bit more groove and melody. Obviously, these aren't pretty melodies, giving us a record with that same sense of dread and bite that we'd expect. Oddly enough, though, it takes about two or three minutes before the vocals come in and I'd almost thought I was listening to an instrumental cut. Then wouldn't you know, these guys go right back to thrashing. What I've gathered here is a death/thrash act that wants to play out of its comfort zone a little bit, which might be a tough sell for some, albeit a godsend for others. From listening to the album during a quick refresher, I can already tell that these guys can play, and they manage to put on a pretty pleasing performance even when it's all said and done. The band's use of atmosphere works very well to bring them in, while the unexpected dips into other metallic territories give them a chance to shine beyond the thrash. As we know, almost anyone can thrash with death metal vocals these days, but only a handful of bands can actually get it right. Maleficence are definitely one of those bands, with this short offering being a great sampler to what will know doubt be an even stronger performance in the future. It's definitely a promising little 7” vinyl, and I think you're going to want to get your hands on it" - (TheGrimTower.com
"There's been quite the explosion of blackened thrash metal these past couple years, and while it's likely grown a little redundant and unnecessarily retrospect to some, I've been enjoying quite a lot of what I hear, provided that the bands focus on both the riffs and production aesthetics of their distant forebears, but tweaking the formulae just enough that I feel like it's an alternative take on a well-trodden path. Maleficence happen to meet most of these prerequisites, taking a meatier, nastier approach to material that wouldn't have seemed so out of place on an early DESTRUCTION or SODOM recording, and then ensuring the riff selection is varied and consistently savage...To be clear, once the swell of the dark ambient intro subsides, this is not a group that focuses in too heavily on atmospherics, instead opting for a more potent, clean studio mix in which the guitars are punchy and effective and vocals placed at a volume that emphasizes their ghastly, barking abandon. Riffing here is highly reminiscent of Mike Sifringer, only it's not as flecked with industrial steel as All Hell Breaks Loose or The Antichrist, but more of a polished Sentence of Death or Mad Butcher. The drums are forceful and enhance the charging momentum of 'Pyre of Penitence,' while the bass has just enough of a distorted coil and groove to it that you can really pick out where it deviates from the rhythm guitar line. They'll spurt out some picked tremolo riffing sequences to spin just enough of a SLAYER-like proto-death metal undercurrent that complements straight-up old '80s Teutonic thrashing, and throw up a few melodic bits you wouldn't otherwise expect (in the opening of the title cut), but there are other passages in which it's nearly indistinguishable from that classic thrash sphere...Fortunately, the Belgians are not lazily spewing forth black/punk riffs that are all too predictable from the get-go, and there seems to have been a modicum of effort and enthusiasm here in the writing. The attention to the more accessible recording places this more firmly into the camp of bands like ERAZOR and RAISE HELL than dingier, atmospheric groups like POWER FROM HELL and DIAVOLOS, but that's not a bad thing, as Maleficence just let the riffs do their talking for them, and that dialogue is established with a vivid and determined force. Not incredibly memorable to the point that you'll be hearing it in your head 25 years later, or perhaps even 24 hours later, but the tunes are entertaining enough throughout their existence, and a full-length of this quality, with the same commitment to varied, intense, impactful writing, would likely stir up some appreciation" - (From The Dust Returned webzine)
"Brussels delivers some high-speed DESTRUCTION worship by way of WITCHTRAP (Colombia) and BESTIAL HOLOCAUST...The speed is fucking relentless, the production is surprisingly clean, but the playing is still raw enough to feel 'right.' Yeah, I liked this about as well as the aforementioned bands in their respective heyday...Horns up: looking forward to a full-length" - (Third Eye Cinema webzine)
"Many of you will be familiar with the allure of a fine dubbel or tripel, and scoff chocolate as you check out Moshito’s ABORTED review. Contently, you’ll rub your bier- and cacao-filled bellies, assuming you’ll have tasted everything that Belgium has to offer. Well, now you can add shit to the menu, because that’s what you’ll be eating if you miss out on Maleficence’s upcoming 7″ EP of speedy blackthrash. The Belgian quintuple manage to distil a heavy intoxicant that will render you all kinds of fucked-up in just over 10 minutes. Realms of Mortification shows that the band have riffs on tap; my only complaint is that after the two tracks are over, I’m left stranded, over the legal limit yet still thirsty for moooaaaarrrrr!" - (ToiletOvHell.com
"Following on from the acclaimed Journey to the Depths demo, Maleficence return on Blood Harvest Records with this two-track offering. Entitled Realms of Mortification, this 7” EP is full-tilt blackened thrash played with an energy and aggression that seems powered by the very furnaces of Hell...Opening with the horrific ‘Pyre of Penitence,’ a track that emerges from the tormented screams of the damned before charging headlong into the sort of virulent blackened thrash that AURA NOIR revel in, Maleficence are on brutal form. With blistering riffs, ferocious solos, and vocals that seem to have been summoned by necromancy, the immediacy of the music is enhanced by the pops and crackles of the vinyl, for the band’s raw, analogue sound seems ill-suited to the clinical precision of the digital realm. Better still is B-side ‘Of Mortification and Beyond’ with its melodic leads and dirty groove. Showcasing a band who are capable of tempering their fire and fury with enough melody to keep things memorable, ‘Of Mortification and Beyond’ is a tantalising glimpse of what’s to come from these demented Belgians and a potent demonstration of the band’s sonic firepower. A lengthy track, it takes a full two minutes before the vocals even appear, but when they do, it is with a whiff of sulphur that stings the eyes even as you headbang yourself into a coma...Short, sharp, and to the point, this 7” EP is a faultless next-step from Maleficence. Demonstrating a maturity in their songwriting and impressive musicianship, the highlight is ‘Of Mortification and Beyond,’ but both tracks will leave fans of blackened thrash exhausted and with huge, shit-munching grins plastered across their sweaty faces. Available now via Blood Harvest, this is an EP that extreme metal fans need in their lives!" - (SonicAbuse.com
"Belgians Maleficence play blackened thrash, and they do so a lot closer in style to their European forbearers SODOM and DESTRUCTION than, say, charred landscapes emanating from South America or frozen tremolo pickings of Scandinavia. Instead, Maleficence opts for vacillating between a classic thrash gallop and meatier death-metal like approach. The darkness comes in the form of 'Pyre of Penitence' intro and 'Of Mortification and Beyond' outro, and there is actually thoughtfulness given to songwriting; Realms of Mortification is not one-note black punk. What is also surprising is the fact the EP is served on a good sound platter, recording performed at some quality studio, not in someone’s basement. Small melodic tidbits interspersed here and there on 'Pyre of Penitence,' dragged-out dissonant guitars flavoring on 'Of Mortification and Beyond' add to the feeling that someone was interested not only in the headbanging aspect of it all, but actually cared for what the final product would sound like. Very respectable" - (MetalReviews.com
"On Realms of Mortification, Maleficence plays the black/thrash style about as close to the mean as is possible. While that may discourage some – the genre’s loyalists are about as lazy with their experimentation as those of any style – Maleficence has one major ingredient on their side: hunger (plus some fun, slightly phlegmy vocals). Both of these tracks, the Kill ‘em All-gone-blackened 'Pyre of Penitence' and downright blazing 'Of Mortification and Beyond,' display an energy and youthfulness that was all too missing on a pair of veteran blackthrash albums from earlier this year (lookin’ at you, DESTRÖYER 666 and DESASTER). The noteworthiness of this EP might have been increased by the dearth of quality for the style of late, but there’s little denying that there is some serious potential within" - (YourLastRites.com
"Belgian Maleficence were approved under doubt when their demo Journey to the Depths was released through Blood Harvest exactly a year ago. The music had a lot of killer riffing and good drift, but fairly monotonous repetition and limited audio quality, to be a bit diplomatic. (Pretty inferior sound is a more realistic, yet harsher formulation.) Still, there were a lot of promising potential in the song material. I was therefore very excited to see what developments the Belgians now presents with Realms of Mortification, their first EP, released as a 7"...Realms of Mortification offers two tracks of approximately 5.5 minutes each. It doesn't take long to establish that the production, as expected, is significantly improved this time. The dynamics are, however, very compact, something I'd like to see the band rectify until next time...The music has otherwise not changed enormously, but there is basically some progressing made here, as well. We can still pick up a few staccato rhythms and prolonged sequences, but that's just nitpicking, really...'Pyre of Penitence; kicks off the EP with fierce, red-hot blackthrash, characterized by aggressive pace and attitude. It's a tough song with alright variation, which nevertheless is beaten at the finish line by its fraternal twin brother 'Of Mortification and Beyond,' which delivers a volcanic eruption that smells burned. Tougher drumming, evocative melodies, insane vocal, and fervent guitars and solo give this a lead of a severed horse head...Maleficence, you are hereby cleared to proceed to the full-length format by Gorger, officer 666 of the music police" - (Gorger.org
released May 6, 2016