For me it has been traditional heavy metal. Recent traditional metal albums that I’ve heard have hardly impressed me at all, but now new heavy metal is making a come back. With the release of “Malison Rogue”, a self titled album, Malison Rogue has renewed my interest in newer heavy metal. This album is a great blend of genres that range any where from regular traditional metal to power metal, and progressive metal.
One thing that really brings this to life is the guitars. They remind me a little bit of “Killers”-era Maiden guitars mixed with a wave of progressive intonation. This offers a great feel to the album, that when mixed with the drums make for a very raw sounding piece. The beginning of “Friend or Foe” really exemplifies this and expands on it with great guitar solos and bass licks. Another thing that I would like to point out is the way Malison Rogue seems to play different genres at the same time. While the drums and bass are mostly in a retro heavy metal groove the guitars are very progy at times but it still seems to blend well, so that right there is a huge thumbs up from me. Malison Rogue also seems to pull on other strings of metal, such as in the beginning of “The Pain You Cause” where it is very “Operation: Mindcrime” sounding. I like this, a whole lot, because I absolutely love Queensrÿche and when their type of sound is mixed with traditional heavy metal, it offers up a very enjoyable sound.
The vocals are also quite superb on this album. They mix very well with the guitars and are quite excellent in of themselves. Lead singer Zeb has an uncanny talent to alter his voice a bit but still have the same tone and quality to it that has really made me enjoy this album. Though at first listen his voice sounds like it is better suited for power metal it still fits in with Malison Rogue’s sound. One other thing vocally that Malison Rogue employs well is the use of harmonies. Songs such as “The Griever” and “Scars” were it really adds to the songs appeal. Speaking of “Scars”, my favorite track, I love how Malison Rogue really sounds together. They are raw, but not so raw that it detracts from the album, which is just the way I like it.
The production by Mats Levén (ex. Yngwie Malmsteen, Therion) is really terrific and flawless. The mixing is also done quite superbly and adds to the overall appeal of the album.
This album comes highly recommended for fans of Iron Maiden, and those who like their heavy metal mixed with a little prog and power metal. “Malison Rogue” has every thing listeners can want, fast tracks (“We’re All Born Sinners” and “The Pain You Cause”), slower songs (“The Griever”) and great epics and ballads such as “Scars” and “My Mistakes”, respectively. For a great debut, Malison Rogue gets 3.5 stars.