Four-piece Maleficent Vigor (from the United States of Americanana) were formed about five-six years ago, and they (Danny, Mike, Steve and Darrel) have ‘the purpose to face their inner evil and spread their darksides to the unwashed masses’ (excerpt taken from the bio).
With Novus Ordo Seclorum (Latin that is not correct, but who the f*ck does care about it???), Maleficent Vigor bring fifty four minutes of evil noises. The band self-released this material in Autumn 2012, and with a professional label to help them out, this stuff will see a more decent worldwide distribution right now.
The album opens with a rather short but very nice intro, symphonic and atmospheric, but it’s the totality that counts. And that is: rhythmic and melodic Death / Black / Thrash Metal. But I’ll start with a sad remark: the sound. The album is badly mixed, with riffs that are way too background-sounding, and drums that are too pronounced. Sometimes I can barely hear the bass and rhythm guitar lines, and the result is a muddy mess.
When it comes to the songs themselves, well, it is searching for an equilibrium in between pros and cons. The ideas are all right. Maleficent Vigor are trying to put down an own interpretation of dark ambience with their mixture of both modern and old styled Metal genres (Thrash and, especially, as mentioned before, Black and Death Metal). The guitar riffs and rhythm section are mainly Death Metal oriented, and then I would refer to the North American scene especially. But just like many European colleagues, there are two things that make this release not just an average American record: the addition of massive decelerations and the fine changes in tempo (especially seen from structural point of view). The vocals vary too, with both gurgling blackish screams and sore death grunts. The main speed of the songs balances in between slow and up-tempo, but a few times the band accelerates. But with exception of both last compositions (My Perdition and Demagogue) (as well as the intro Depravity, to be honest), there is not one single piece that, as a whole composition, really stands out (of course that is the personal opinion of undersigned). The lead solos, acoustic additions or whatever; not once I am profoundly charmed by any of the tracks as a whole (bits and pieces are all right, the totality never truly surprises) on Novus Ordo Seclorum. I don’t think it is disgustingly boring, but after a while I start to push the ‘forward’-button; it happened each time when I listened to this album (twice, to be more specifically, and this being the third). All right, when some atmospheric keyboard lines are introduced, it might draw one’s attention (cf. a song like New World Order), but these very few details do not turn this record into a masterpiece.