Malice – “New Breed Of Godz”

Malice – “New Breed Of Godz” (Steamhammer/SPV)

Holy crap, WTF ever happened to Malice, the 80s LA power metal band?! Sounding uncannily and unashamedly like Priest, these dudes were set to form the next wave of the metal assault from the US in the early 80s, headlining over Metallica and by the mid 80s being probably the hottest bidden band around from major labels! However the end came in the form of a disastrous tour where they were (mis)matched with Slayer and continuing problems with vocalist James Neal led to the band folding in ’87. Despite brief stints in between where guitarist Jay Reynolds went to work with Megadeth (but with more bad mojo got passed over for Jeff Young) and later more successfully with Metal Church, the band sorta continued in various resurrections and line-ups, largely thanks to their cult appeal in the true metal genre. Now, over 20 years later, and with Helstar’s James Rivera on vocals, Malice release their next album which in addition to 4 new songs, contains 4 re-recorded songs each from the “In The Beginning” and “License To Kill” albums that rather than being a cop out, is actually a pretty good idea from SPV given most younger people probably wouldn’t remember these releases. So, along with the likes of ‘Hell Rider’ and ‘Circle Of Fire’ comes the newer ‘Branded’ which continues seemlessly Malice’s brand of piston driving heavy metal. Rivera’s vocals are as always par excellence but given this is Malice he has sensibly made them less prog or operatic and instead gone for a full on metal screamathon, which is just as well given Jay has lost none of the fire in his guitar work! In summation an excellent US power metal album so I really hope it works for Malice this time around – just no tours with Slayer though eh LOL!

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