Gomek records promote MALAKAI as Death Metal with a wide range of influences such as Thrash, Grindcore, Modern Metal, and Metalcore. The opening track of the “Chasing Demons” EP, “Bitter Tomorrows,” blasts a fast and brutal attack at the listener with a fair combination of all these genres. The opening is straightforward old school Death Metal with a subtle transition between blast beats and breakdowns over a blazing guitar riff. The chorus comes straight from the Metalcore camp and holds true to what you would hear any underground metal act from the states doing at a live show. Although you hear nothing unique in this composition, it’s the way the band compacts such a broad range of influences into three minutes and forty seconds that polishes this track’s appeal and makes it a great opener.
The goods don’t stop there. Each track on the album has a solid and organized blend of approaches. “Dead By Design” carries the album’s heaviest blend of Metalcore and Melodic Death Metal and will make frequent appearances on metal radio programs in the United States. “Chasing Demons” sports a heavy but not overburdening Thrash influence and “Isolate And Recover” has a few fantastic experimentations in Modern Metal guitar phrasings. On the down side, “Convulsing” falls apart in the end. It hosts the only solo found on the album (and lead work does not seem a forte for guitarist Jon Saultz). Simply put, the song lacks the well thought-out composition and blending of styles that listeners receive in the EP’s other songs.
The musicians have a knack for delivering tremendous bursts of speed and energy at the opening of a track to engage the listener, but the follow-through sometimes delivers too much Metalcore for straight Death Metal fans. The vocals and drum work are consistent throughout the album and both are pure and intelligible. The production of the album leaves little room for criticism, and it appears that the band went into the studio knowing exactly what they wanted to capture and did a knock-out job in a short span of time (similar to their approach to songwriting). All in all, “Chasing Demons” offers great promise for the future of American Metal. It comes as little surprise that the title track was chosen as garageband.com’s "Track of the day" for January 21, 2005.
(Online March 26, 2007)