Review: Malsain – They Never Die

Location: Bergen, Norway
Genre: Black Metal
Released: May 23, 2005
Format Reviewed: FLAC
Feature: Global Conquest – Diving For Treasure

By: Kris Kotlarik

They Never Die is the debut EP of this Norwegian black metal outfit, fronted by female vocalist Skumring. Her vocals on much of this effort, with a marked exception of one song, is the most likable aspect here, which isn’t saying all that much.

Production-wise, this is very raw with most of the instruments muddled in the mix. Oddly, the bass is possibly the most clearly audible instrument at any given time. After starting with an uneventful intro, “The Marsh” comes in with Skumring’s screams leading the charge. The title track is also fairly solid and features the heaviest section on the record towards the end.

“Cold Strofobia” was entirely forgettable aside from a nice bridge section midway through. The best song here is “Kvele Seg (Strangle Himself),” which features a diverse array of rhythms and tempos. This is followed by the worst track, “Brent Tre (couldn’t find a translation, but Tre apparently means “Wood”),” which bludgeons the eardrums with horrifying vocal screeches. “Lokkemann (enticing men) ends the album in an eventful way, although it is a bonus demo that was included on the reissue so I can’t fault the group too much for that.

Lyrically, this is roughly half Norwegian, half English, and entirely unoriginal. I can’t think of many great things to say about this; I will say that I should have learned my lesson on Norwegian female-fronted black metal after listening to a Peccatum album; not even Ihsahn or his wife could save that band from becoming an over-garbled train wreck. And as much of a train wreck as that was, it’s still better than They Never Die. 

Overall: Better production may have helped, but only slightly. Skip the last two songs. 

Rating: 1.0*

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