Malrun - Two Thrones (Vicisolum Productions)

Danish band rises from schism to produce a thing of beauty...
Release Date: 
29 Aug 2014 (All day)

As it goes, due to one of those twists of fate that often happens in the music industry, Two Thrones, which is Danish metallers  Malrun’s third album, also happens to be something of an EPITAPH. Y’see, in between recording and releasing the darned thing they’ve parted ways with vocalist Jacob Loebner, meaning that this release kinda draws a line under this chapter of the band’s history.

As I’ve no idea what new guy ‘Danish powerball’ Nicklas Sonne sounds like, I’ve no way of telling whether this is a good move or not as far as the band is concerned, though clearly both parties seem satisfied with the arrangement. ‘Musical differences’ was the rather bland description of what prompted the parting of the ways, with Loebner stating a desire to get into more MELODIC territory. That’s his prerogative, of course, but there’s plenty of melody evident on Two Thrones, so maybe there’s more here than meets the peepers…

Whatevs, before the great schism Malrun managed to come up with a pretty neat slab of MODERN sounding metal. Songs like opening cut Justine and the excellent Cycle of Abuse get their hooks in ya ears early on and don’t let go, and blow me if it ain’t the melodic nature of Loebner’s voice that’s one of the main highlights here! It’s not all about the throat though, with guitarists Mads Ingeman and Patrick Nybroe flitting between crunch and melody in best In Flames style. Prelude is a nice little semi-track that shows the boys’ sensitive side (but strangely ends up sounding not a million miles away from Australian proggies The Butterfly Effect) before seguing into the ultra-commercial radio metal of Serpent’s Coil.  

There’s a real big-time feel about Malrun, a glossy, EPIC cinemascope element to their music that leads me to believe good times ain’t that far away round the corner for ‘em even with an inconvenient change of vocalist right at the start of this album cycle. The way they mix the commercial, the progressive and the heavy (sometimes all in one song as they do on album highlight Bury the Dead for You)  makes me think there ain’t one single base they dontst got covered, and if they can come up with more material of the calibre of Two Thrones then the future’s gonna be very bright indeed.