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