Malfeitor - Incubus
Agonia Records
Black Metal
10 songs (54'33")
Release year: 2009
Agonia Records
Reviewed by Alex

I don’t pretend I know everything there is to know about Italian black metal scene, but what comes to mind the most is the gruesome killings near Milan about a decade ago and fascination with symphonic black metal with the likes of Opera IX, Stormlord and Graveworm. As of late, I have come across their more brutal Italian brethren having reviewed Nefarium, Handful of Hate and Hate Profile. The one band which stood outside of either group was Aborym, which combined industrial, gothic and experimental in their black metal delivery. It turns out that a couple of years ago M. Fabban, the first voice and bass player of Aborym, organized a project, Malfeitor, which grew into its own as a band with a pair of full-length albums.

Not familiar with the debut Unio Mystica Maxima, I can report that on the follow-up Incubus Malfeitor very much explore the old school Scandinavian metal albeit with the modern production. Within the tenets of the style, at times called Norsecore, Malfeitor combine the traits of the Satanic Swedish black metal (Marduk, Dark Funeral) with some of the early Immortal influences. Incessant, brutal, heavy on blasting, Malfeitor drill the intensity into your head from the get-go. Much more hellish and deathy than woodsy and cold, the Italians reach for an epic melody here and there as in the middle of Into the Qliphot of Golachab and at the conclusion of The Other Half, in those places reminding me of Immortal the most. Turning in those tormenting melodies keeps the listener engaged without sliding off down the brutality passageway. Excellent catchy double bass supported riffs of Mysterious, Mystical, Majestic also help with a headbang, leading to a rock-put chorus.

To be perfectly honest, the album is not all hurricane fast-speed and tempo variations are present as in the middle of Mysterious, Mystical, Majestic or with the slower doomy echoing dissonant Void of Voids. Typhonian Gods is thrashy with eerily overlayered guitars providing for some symphonic feel. Not counting the experimental noise closer Antisaturno, Malfeitor rarely veers into Aborym industrial territory switching to the mechanical drony atmosphere on Promethean Fire. Yet mostly, Incubus is about rattling your head, ears and all other possible sensing organs. Just like the title track indicates, the band can beat you up, disturb and engage at the same time, rarely laying off the blasting tempo. M. Fabban does indeed sound close to Abbath on Incubus, especially when he croaks along in a grouchy manner, but the man can howl like a wolf, his shrieks rising from the depth.

Without uncovering anything new, Malfeitor turns in quality by-the-book performance supported with the tight musicianship and juicy sound. If you liked the second generation of Norwegian black metal like Tsjuder or Urgehal, and like a lot of brutality with an inkling for melody, as in the latest Necrophobic, Incubus might be the album just for you.

Killing Songs :
Into the Qliphot of Golachab; Mysterious, Mystical, Majestic; The Other Half
Alex quoted 70 / 100
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