Review: “Shallow Graves” by Malfested

A brand new Death Metal band forged in the fires of Kortrijk, Belgium and taking influence from 90’s Death Metal bands like Edge of Sanity, Bloodbath and Deicide are Malfested. Formed in the year of the great plague that has been 2020, they have tirelessly worked to bring a mix of New and Old Death Metal with their debut record “Shallow Graves“, a concept record which tells of a great battle between man and the undead in which they have to find a way to stop an overwhelming Evil…

…flies feed on festering corpses as crows circle overhead before feedback summons the peasants to bury the dead in “Shallow Graves” with mid career Chimaira esq guitar work and Death Metal roars before an atmospheric slow down for an eerie conclusion that ushers in pre-release cut “Masked with the Skulls of the Fallen“. The storytelling abilities of Malfested know no boundaries and while guttural death roars from the bowls of hell shatter any glass objects in a twenty foot radius of where you listen to this, the delivery of the vocals is still clean enough that the lyrics are clearly heard in all their gory detail. Neat tempo shifts and whirl wind drum patters sweep things along in slick style, atmospheric moments suggest that this band may feature with its ranks some seasoned musicians who are yet to give away their identities. If that isn’t the case, then our tip of the hat is even greater, for we are not worthy of such quality. “Fields of Bloodshed” brings forth some old school Sepultura moments, while the pitch shifting vocals offer some shriller moments to contrast the usual brutal bark. There are even hints at Black Metal influences with a burst of blast beats which are then used once more during the rampaging opening to “Venefica (The Banished One)“, a tale about a Roman sorceress who poisons using drugs and potions for her ill gotten gain. A song of immense power and intensity with a solid groove and pulverizing rhythms, it is masterfully done. “Incantations” has some familiar riffage in similarly driven style, the nails on a chalk board shriller vocal moments kept to a minimum by the bludgeoning bark. A neat spoken word passage adds a je ne sais quoi to the atmosphere before a punishing drum pattern makes way for some gloriously haunting piano. It would actually make for a fine closing cut to the record but the punch in the gut that is “Cistern of Souls” shouldn’t be forgotten. A power house cut that name checks the title of the record at the same time makes for a crushing finale [8/10]

Track listing

  1. Shallow Graves
  2. Masked with the Skulls of the Fallen
  3. Fields of Bloodshed
  4. Venefica (The Banished One)
  5. Incantations
  6. Cistern of Souls

Shallow Graves” by Malfested is out 2nd November and available over at bandcamp

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