Malcolm Rivers is a post-hardcore band from Münster, Germany. The band was named after the protagonist of the movie Identity. After two self released EP’s it is now time to release their first full album “Karmageddon” on Redfield Digital. The release date is set on January 13,2017.
The album is about, as is stated in the reviewer notes: “The concept album takes a look on the theory and consequences of karma from different perspectives. Lyrically linked songs, textual repetitions and the hourglass as a symbol for the remaining but running out time that’s left to rethink our own actions and change them.”
The album begins with ‘Hourglass’ an intro that at the beginning sounds a bit spheric and you tend to lose yourself in time, it is building up the tension and the expectation. It flows fluently into the first (real) track ‘The Last Call’. Immediately they grab my attention with a song that is full of energy but also a chorus that is so packed with melody that just touches something inside me. They prove that hardcore shouldn’t be limited to only breakdown after breakdown. I hear influences from a wide variety of metal-styles. I even hear some prog-metal influences and that keeps it fresh. Of course there are the mandatory hardcore related elements, and I applaud that they also keep true to the hardcore spirit. The third track ‘Drown In Truth’ features Fábio of Hills Have Eyes, they also released a video for this song.
‘The screaming is heavy and intense, and this also goes for the title-track ‘Karmageddon’. The cleans in this, and other, songs remind me a bit of the former lead-singer of Killswitch Engage, Howard Jones. This should be read as a compliment.
‘Time To Burn’ is an instrumental quiet interlude, but the quietness doesn’t last long because the sixth track ‘The Outlaw’ is again a song full of heavy riffs interspersed, again, with melodic choruses and the occasional breakdown.
‘Dark Passenger’ has, at the beginning, a bit that old-school eighties hard-rock vibe. In this song they also use keys which give the song an extra layer of depth. In the calmer part of the song where they start to build up again I hear some influences that can be compared to the melodic-hardcore band Defeater.
‘Living In Denial’ also begins on a quiet note and this song is best described as melodic hardcore, and then melodic with a capital ‘M’. This song is, to me, one of the highlights on this album. I know that it is taste related but I just love this song.
Next track ‘Ground And Pound’ is much more heavy at the beginning they really pound their instruments. The song is overall more heavy but again with melodic elements. I really dig the groove at the half of this song. And when they are building up again I just can’t sit still in my chair. ‘Mistakes’ is more up-tempo with a lingering undertone. I know that this sounds as a contradiction but just listen to the song and you will know what I mean (I hope). ‘Mistakes’ is no mistake if you ask me…
‘Final Seconds’ is again an interlude played on piano with a menacing tone underneath it all and with strings played to perfection. It is a great step up to the last song ‘Justice’. This is a song full of power and energy, and the hoarse screams are accompanied with clean vocals as in every song. There is also one of the heavier breakdowns until now.
All in all an album that surprised me from A-Z. They call it post-hardcore, but that doesn’t cover it in my opinion. It is way more and they invented a new way of hardcore. Give it a chance, you might be surprised!
Written by: René Woning
2. The Last Call
3. Drown In Truth
5. Time To Burn
6. The Outlaw
7. Dark Passenger
8. Living In Denial
9. Ground And Pound
11. Final Seconds
Till – Guitar
Andi – Vocals
Leo – Drums
Jan – Guitar/vocals
(Jojo – Keys/FX)
2011 Malcolm Rivers EP
2013 The Evolution EP
Record label: Redfield Digital, January 2017
Video for ‘Karmageddon’
Video for ‘Drown In Truth’