Beauty In Chaos

Written by: TL on 30/07/2010 16:59:25

Before I even get started about the music of Aarhus, Denmark-based five-piece Malrun. please allow me a minute to comment on the cover art of this debút LP of theirs called "Beauty In Chaos". What in the name of the Gods of good branding were you thinking, when you went the tired-already-in-2005 routine of dressing up in your confirmation suits and making a band photo with your hands drenched in gore?! It seems like all bands Target push these days get styled to appear as stereotypical and cliché as imaginable, and as a rock fan, I am starting to wonder if the organisation thinks that allowing bands to emit a sense of class and originality equals commercial suicide. In short, no points awarded for visual impression. Let's see about the music though.

Fortunately for Malrun, their emergence in the sonic department is somewhat more impressive, quickly establishing themselves in the mind of the listener, as a by-the-numbers metalcore/hardrock band dominated by clean vocals rather than screams. Not that there aren't screams, those are just fairly average and unremarkable for better or worse, and it really is the excellent cleans of singer Jacob - taking a hint or two from one Maynard James Keenan I'd wager - along with some crystal clear production, that redeems an instrumentation that, while well-played and well-mixed, sounds somewhat heard-before.

Much in the spirit of admitted influences Killswitch Engage, Malrun ignore the common trends of trying to sound either as tech or as br00tal (or both) as humanly (and technologically) possible, aiming to rally a fanbase through simple but powerful melodies, memorable choruses and the odd backing scream and wailing solo. Their foremost achievement (beyond finding a great singer) is that they manage this rather consistently, and without ending up sounding as mega-corny as other perpetrators of this approach (see: Bullet For My Valentine, Five Finger Death Punch, etc.).

I know such things don't really sound like very difficult accomplishments, but in getting them done, Malrun are already sticking their head out of an endless sea of unimpressive identikit competitors. They still have a few hurdles left to climb though, before they're ready to step up to the big leagues. Here I'm thinking that a bit more originality is needed (also visually mind you!) and maybe an expansion of the variety the band presents when showing their 'softer' side on songs that are more Alter Bridge-hardrock than KsE-metalcore. Regardless, this album is a well-crafted and muscular debút, and it exhibits solid potential for the future. All Malrun need to do is give some thought as to how they can fortify their band's identity, making them 'memorable' rather than 'promising'.


Download: Wounded Pride, Rise From Sorrow
For The Fans Of: Killswitch Engage, Silence Of September, Raunchy, Alter Bridge

Release Date 09.08.2010
Mighty Music

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