Genre: Black Metal
Label: Purity Through Fire
In the ever-growing Finnish black metal scene, Malum from Turku started their journey in 2014 and have a handful of releases since then, which I haven’t had the chance to go through in time the previous years. I learned about the band from the compilation “Awakening of the Luciferian Darkness” last year, which includes their first demo from 2014, and their first EP from 2015, even though they had released their debut in between those dates. “Legion” is the third full length albumand features seven tracks and thirty-eight minutes of music, all of which is in English, except for the last track, which is in their mother tongue.
Malum are not so different from other bands of the country, and the same style of epicness and melody is employed in their music and is very apparent in this record as well. The vocals are pretty clear and the lyrics can be followed most of the times, with the vocalist giving a good feel of the band’s energy and still reminds a lot of the Finnish black metal scene. When it comes to the artwork and the tracks, bands like Behexen came in mind, as Malum deal mostly with satanism, even though the melodies in the compositions could align more with Sargeist.
On the other hand, it wouldn’t kill this band to add some originality to their songwriting overall, as “Legion” sounds a lot like other albums from Finland that have been coming out and avoiding the trap of repetition can be hard, especially this style of melodic black metal is so characteristic. There are only a handful of weak moments in the tracks, which are generally energetic and offer a bunch of good riffs and structures, but at times a listener who is into that scene might not be able to discern it from the overall Finnish sound.
One of the highlights in “Legion” is the almost nine-minute long “Blessed by the Devil’s Blood” which maintains the attention despite its length, as well as the closing “AjattomanViisaudenLoisteessa”, which has the band emphasizing on a glorious closure of their album. The more striking “Sexual Demon” combines the lyrical rawness that many Finnish bands have (from what I got of the lyrics, as well as the plain title) with some of the best guitar lines of the album, slightly leaning towards some modern Norwegian black as well.
All of the songs are fast paced, the production is decent and it constitutes to a solid album of its kind as a whole, even though I believe they have space to go deeper with their concepts, as well as the music itself. It should probably be celebrated by the fans of the country’s music, yet I believe the band can improve in many aspects. I would never condemn this as a failing record, but I have my suspicions on how much of a peak in the year it is for the genre.