Maligner – Attraction To Annihilation Review

…so then I says to the guy, I says, “Maligner?!  I hardly even KNOW her!”

What?  Hello… Hello…  Is this thing on?…

I shouldn’t screw around, though, because Maligner doesn’t. This Swedish three-piece rips through eight tracks of feral death / thrash in thirty minutes, closer in that formula to the former of the two, and almost never letting their collective foot off the proverbial gas pedal. No, nothing on Attraction To Annihilation is an original concept; it’s heavily indebted to the likes of vintage Death and Kreator-on-amphetamines, with a slight modern flair that recalls the straightforward attack of a Krisiun. Still, when metal is executed with this level of obvious passion, the nearly palpable energy can transcend the second-hand nature.

Put differently: You’ve heard this before, but hoo boy, damned if it ain’t a lot of fun.

Release date: August 31, 2018. Label: Blood Harvest.
“Oath-Bound” launches out of the gate, all frantic speed and tightly-wound riff beneath bassist Maligno’s raw-throated Schuldiner-ian growl. The arpeggiated guitar chords that introduce “Disposable” are the first of Attraction’s scant few moments at less than full-throttle, and even then, it only lasts for the blink of an eye before shifting into yet another thrasher, with a couple of King / Hannemann-indebted squealing solos as icing on the cake. Drummer Ertheb Somus-Ra pushes tracks like “Disposable” and “Salvation” almost to the breaking point, yet keeps the whole affair tight and balanced, appropriately chaotic without being sloppy, synced to Chilean-born guitarist Aztaik’s deceptively intricate riffing and occasional penchant for some melodic shredding. The relatively controlled “Beyond Repair” spends about thirty seconds in a killer bulldozer groove (a speed that’s more effectively exploited in crushing closer “Into Oblivion”), and then “Mental Breakdown” scorches the earth behind it, a frenzied ripper that stands as Attraction’s finest and fiercest moment, replete with some fleet-fingered bass and guitar interplay.


At the end of the day, nothing Maligner does is outside the box; it’s the kind of ferocious death / thrash that I would typically think is South American, except it isn’t. (Well, not entirely.) Nevertheless, it’s performed and produced very capably by a band that excels at what they do. Your appreciation for Attraction To Annihilation ultimately depends on your love of or need for more classic-styled thrashing death metal. If you’re like me, and it’s always welcome in your ears, then Maligner is for you; if innovation or progression is your benchmark, then you may not find too much here that holds your interest.

That would be a shame, though, because hoo boy, damned if it ain’t a lot of fun.

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; born in the cemetery, under the sign of the MOOOOOOON...

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