MALICE
US Power Metal • United States

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Founded firmly in the Judas Priest camp, Malice was a highly impressive Los Angeles based Metal band noted for strenuous live work. Not only did Malice sound like Judas Priest by warrant of their heavy European guitar riffing but vocalist James Neal, a practising Buddhist, sounded uncannily like Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford and guitarist Jay Reynolds was a deadringer for Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing. Malice's insistence on wearing studded black leather only compounded the comparisons.

Formed by Portland emigrees, bassist Mark Behn had previously played in Fire Eye and had also played in another local outfit, Kharma, who also included Pete Holmes, better known in later years for his role in Black n' Blue. Guitarist Mick Zane had started out with the 1978 act Rude Awakening, fronted by Matt McCourt later of Wild Dogs infamy. Zane and McCourt, alongside Wild Dogs guitarist Jeff Horton and Black n' Blue man
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In the BeginningIn the Beginning
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MALICE Discography

MALICE albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.33 | 3 ratings
In The Beginning
US Power Metal 1985
.. Album Cover 3.31 | 7 ratings
License To Kill
US Power Metal 1986
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
New Breed of Godz
US Power Metal 2012

MALICE EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Crazy In The Night
US Power Metal 1989

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MALICE Reviews

MALICE New Breed of Godz

Album · 2012 · US Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
New Breed of Godz (2012) is the third studio album by US heavy metal act Malice. Malice go back a long way having began their career in 1980 and after a chain of demos in the early eighties, released a couple of full length albums later in the decade, In the Beginning... (1985) and then License to Kill (1987). Their final release was the EP Crazy in the Night (1989). The band then disbanded. However Malice was then resurrected in 2006 with a new line-up and have returned with New Breed of Godz, a collection of mostly rerecorded songs with the new line-up, which includes Helstar vocalist James Rivera, but also some new material. Of the old line-up, bassist Mark Behn played on the rerecorded tracks, but not the new ones, while guitarists Jay Reynolds and Mick Zane remain. The new line-up is completed by drummer Pete Holmes and bassist Robert Cardenas, who played on the new songs.

The album kicks off with one of the new songs, which is the title track. There are four new songs in all on the album. If you’re into traditional heavy or power metal, this is a pretty easy song to get into and also get you in the mood for the rest of the album. James Rivera has the perfect kind of voice for either genre. He is powerful, melodic and true to metal all the way. The music itself, unsurprisingly given the time period that Malice was originally around (1980 – 1989), is most firmly rooted within traditional heavy metal, although there are occasional parts to the music which resemble US power metal as well, but these are subtle and when they do appear, are in a heavy power metal form. I’ve seen some listings in the Internet to the contrary but New Breed Of Godz is in no way a power metal album; it is simply both power metal influenced on the newer tracks, and maybe where the older songs are concerned Malice may have even laid a bit of groundwork for the genre, which didn’t technically exist at the time.

I’m not, unfortunately, at all familiar with the Mark I version of Malice so I can’t compare the host of rerecording’s found within the album to anything, although with a vocal talent like James Rivera fronting the band I think it’s a safe assumption that at the very least the old songs are done justice by Malice Mark II, and both old and new songs alike are able to stand on their own figurative feet with this line-up, resulting in a great traditional metal album. I think the older songs are typically better than the new ones, especially Hell Rider, but all in all Malice showed a lot of potential here to get back on their feet and continue delivering great albums in the future.

8.1/10

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org))

MALICE License To Kill

Album · 1986 · US Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
1967/ 1976
interesting album by Malice, "License To Kill" is a personal view about Judas Priest album, focused on more melodic aspects of Judas Priest music. Interesting is the fact that "Licemse To Kill" is cited as one of the best albums about Priest's inspired bands, also if "License To Kill" is not aged so good. "Sinister Double", "License To Kill", "Chain Gang Woman", "Christine" and "Murderer" are good example of 80's American Metal but remains examples of Priest music, at all.

Probably Malice was a great band. "License To Kill" is a test of a new way of Priest's clone music and in my opinion one of the more genuine Priest style band album.

MALICE License To Kill

Album · 1986 · US Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Stephen
"License To Kill" showed Malice's more mature approach, a bit of commercial bite, but still riding on the same Judas Priest avenue, unleashing the ear-slashing screamer and a sharp double guitar riffs salvo. James Neal's voice is very close to Rob Halford or like a high-pitch version of Bruce Dickinson while Reynolds and Zane are both heavily influenced by the Tipton/Downing style. Based on the year of its release, 1986, "License To Kill" is more in the veins of Priest's "Vengeance" or "Defenders", and maybe a slight influence from Dokken's "Tooth and Nail" era, so if you like the albums, chance that you will like this as well.

Several of my favorite tracks here are the flaming opener, "Sinister Double", the title track, "Chain Gang Woman", and "Breathin' Down Your Neck". Other valuable tracks to check out are "Against The Empire" and "Murder" that's executed in the traditional way of heavy metal. "Vigilante" and "Christine" actually have the potential with good riffs but suffered with an average chorus, and "Circle of Fire" is the worst track here with a disappointing composition and Neal's overkill squeal.

This disc used to be rare and expensive but after Wounded Birds' reissue version available at market, you can buy it for a cheaper price compared to the original press, and for fans of mid-80s heavy metal, "License To Kill" is a good addition to your collection.

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