(Blood Harvest/Unspeakable Axe)
This little demo is exactly why it’s worth spending so much time scouring the internet for new artists. Swedish (with two members from Latin America) death/thrash trio Maligner offer up a truly punishing, old-school assault. There sound is mostly full-throttle, with Death (the band) inspired riffs and leads on the backbone of an absolutely fucking furious thrash onslaught. In lesser hands, the spastic, runaway train feel of these tracks would end in a tragic derailment. Thankfully, the group are wise to the ways of nuanced songwriting beyond their age (at least as a band), as the songs take enough detours to stay interesting despite the fact that these five tracks rarely slow down. In other words, the riffs and solos are absolutely ace. Honestly, it’s unlikely you’ll hear a more ravenously exciting and fun extreme metal EP all year. That patented Latin American groove is here in spades, giving these five tracks an added layer of intrigue above their speed and technicality. Maligner are clearly a band to watch, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the band’s impending debut LP garners quite the bit of hype (hopefully coming out in the near future).