Malice - New Breed of Godz

New Breed of Godz
SPV/Steamhammer Records
Malice are back with a new work after almost 25 years since “License to Kill”. The band nowadays consists of three original members: Jay Reynolds (guitar), Mick Zane (guitar) and Mark Behn (bass) plus James Rivera (Helstar, Destiny’s End, Distant Thunder, Seven Witches) on vocals and Pete Holmes (Black N’ Blue) on drums. Those who had been waiting for the original singer, James Neal, will be disappointed… not that James is a bad singer… but there are some bands that have been characterized by their frontmen… and I believe Malice is one of them. Even though the band managed to release one full-length album and two EPs they were like a well hidden secret in the underground metal scene for many years. Of course, I own the LP “License to Kill”… as a number of guys my age that were fond of searching for some not so well-known bands/albums of that time… and I do like – even remember – the ala Judas Priest (late 70s - early80s) style of the band back in the day.
So, what do Malice have to offer these days? “New Breed Of Godz” contains 4 new songs, “New Breed Of Godz”, “Branded”, “Winds Of Death” & “Slipping Through The Cracks”… while the other 8 ones are re-recorded tracks with new vocalist James Rivera (Helstar/Seven Witches). I honestly do not know why they’ve chosen to do it that way… instead of presenting a new studio album with totally new songs… but I think this effort does not leave a good taste in the end. The 4 new tracks are OK… preserving the Judas Priest style of the band with heavy guitars and powerful rhythm section while James Rivera adds that Rob Halford touches that James Neal didn’t have. Yeap, they are closer to Judas Priest than even… but that ain’t very good at all. As for the other 8 re-recorded songs… sorry, but I’d take the original ones over these at any time.
The album was produced by Joe Floyd (Warrior) and will also be packaged with a DVD featuring rare live footage from 1987. The sound is sorta raw with many 80s passages… however, the sound of the drums is not as powerful as it should have been. Overall, this is not what I had been waiting from Malice in 2012… but I’m not frustrated at all… as I know that they can do much better in the future…