Australia (at least within the metal circles in which I move) is much more known for its black/death output than thrash, so I can say without shame that The Blindness Of Faith is my first encounter with IN MALICE’S WAKE, who have apparently been tearing up the band’s local Melbourne scene and beyond for nearly 18 years, and in recorded form for a bit less, the album we speak of today being its fourth since 2008.
Coming five years after Light Upon The Wicked, we find the quartet also now two albums deep into its current lineup – and it shows. I’ve never been a fan of intro tracks, and IN MALICE’S WAKE keeps the slow build of the title track opener abbreviated, soon enough. Staccato riffing and impressively quick drumming are on display, the time between albums clearly having aided the guys in gelling as a unit. As a first song, first impression, I’m interested enough to stick around. While ‘Graven Image’ moves past, not great but not bad by a long chalk, ‘See The Light’ perks my ears, calling to mind a blend of early HYPOCRISY (back when they still had teeth) and PESTILENCE circa Testimony Of The Ancients, never a bad thing.
‘Unbound Sinful Light’ brings a chugga-chugga riff and mid-paced rhythm, definitely my pick for the album, surely a circle pit starter, if ever the foursome needed one, complete with breath-catching interlude for us old geezers to stupid to stay out of the shark tank. Placed as it is in roughly the middle of The Blindness Of Faith, it seems IN MALICE’S WAKE has also learned from its forefathers when it comes to the need for a solid pivot point for the two sides of an album to balance on.
While I’ve never viewed Australia on the whole as a country under religious oppression, ideological or otherwise, these dudes have certainly been through something, based on the majority of lyrical content concerning itself with anti-Judeo-Christian haranguing. While to each his own, and the “church” having been fodder for some of my favorite music, it just seems a bit like low hanging fruit in 2020. Now don’t get me wrong, this being my first experience with IMW, and they certainly don’t seem like a one trick pony, but I’d like to hear more diversity in subject in the future. Maybe there was in the past, I’d have to dig back.
‘Into The Outer Darkness’ is explosive, and finale ‘Gehenna’ is another example of excellent track order on behalf of the band, combining all elements that’ve come before into a solid send off. In all, I can see the band’s local/national status is warranted. Are they ready to move beyond, and onto the world stage? Time will tell, I suppose. Myself, I’ll give another listen.
Review By: Lord Randall
IN MALICE’S WAKE
The Blindness Of Faith
3 / 6