The first thing that popped to my mind when I saw the cover of this EP was White Wizzard’s latest album, Flying Tigers. Looking beyond the similarly themed covers, you will soon realize that the big difference between them is that, while White Wizzard dishes out sterile-sounding ‘80s heavy metal anthems, Malakyte thrashes out gratifyingly raw-sounding old -school metal numbers à la old Exodus, but with Tom Angelripper-ish shouted vocals.
This five-track EP is the young Aussie quintet’s first record, and it is a decent effort that pays tribute to the lost era of thrash metal well enough. Being heavily riff-based, just like any old school thrash-worshipping band should, the tracks fly by like an old film reel (complete with flickering dots, lines and perhaps even a sepia tone), announcing to the world that old school thrash ain’t dead and is here to stay. Amid the heaps of riffs and solos, the high point is at the introduction of the first track, “Zero Hour”, which features a cheesy yet nostalgic ‘90s-like sci-fi movie audio clip followed by a catchy riff motif skillfully juggled between the twin guitars. The bass guitar deserves a mention, too, for it is actually clearly audible in the fourth track, “Warhawk” (which probably describes the EP cover), playing a simple yet attention-grabbing descending note sequence.
Overall, my main gripe with this EP is the lengthiness of its tracks. The shortest clocks in at over four minutes, while the longest is at seven-and-a-half minutes. One of the basic principles of thrash metal is keeping the music simple and straightforward, and it is precisely because of this that thrashing it out over the magic mark of three to three-and-a-half minutes is a sure recipe for losing your listener’s attention halfway through. (I shudder at the remembrance of Metallica’s Death Magnetic.) There’s nothing fresh here if you’re looking for spanking new ear candy like modern metal. What awaits you is nothing but pure testosterone-driven music that will hit a spot with ears craving for some nostalgia. No frills included.