Today, American black/death juggernaut Malleus stream the entirety of their highly anticipated debut album, The Fires of Heaven, at Decibel magazine’s website. Set for international release on January 27th via Armageddon Label, hear Malleus‘ The Fires of Heaven in its entirety exclusively HERE.
Malleus has returned to present us with The Fires of Heaven. Expanding on and refining their influences from the seminal first-wave era of death and black metal, they have delivered unto us eight savage bursts of classic blackened metal, combining brooding atmosphere, razor-sharp riffs, fiercely delivered drumming, and raw, throat-ripping vocals, all summoned and sent forth from the gloomiest crypts and corners of olde New England. Like a distant tolling bell emanating from the manic depths of humanity’s past, the lyrics contemplate and belie the failings of mankind, and evoke a sense of the darkness that may yet lay ahead…
In the past, the majority of Malleus‘ lyrics dealt with the psychological impact that the “fear of the unknown” has on the psyche of human beings throughout history. Typically, the lyrics address how this phenomenon leads to individual and societal fear–>paranoia–>hatred–>violence–>and codified bigotry. The individual song lyrics typically address these issues from various historical and sometimes occult perspectives, in an attempt to showcase this phenomenon as a major failing of the human race, particularly in our attempts to build any type of modern “civilized” society.
With the new album, they follow this theme closely, but do so in a much more conceptual and semi-chronological manner. Thematically, the songs are about the arrival of Europeans (primarily English Puritans) in New England during the early 17th Century, and the tragedy of their lives and often-bloody cultural interactions with other groups in colonial New England (Native Americans, French Catholics, enslaved Africans, etc.) over the remainder of that century.
Specifically, the lyrics on The Fires of Heaven deal heavily with the Puritan perception of salvation and grace (in other words, whether or not they were going to heaven or hell), and their steadfast belief that Satan and his children/minions (natives and French Catholics) actually lurked in the forests of New England, waiting to murder them and corrupt their godly pursuits and preordained mission to spread their peculiar version of Christianity to the rest of the world. Essentially, this paranoia manifested itself as fear and bigotry over time, and resulted in many extremely violent conflicts, as well as various outbreaks of religious paranoia and persecution toward the end of the century – the Salem witchcraft trials as an obvious example.
Beyond the lyrics, Malleus have worked to make sure all other aspects of the album sync with this concept, as well, including a classical album intro they had commissioned, which evokes the gothic Baroque style that might have been heard throughout Europe during this time period. Fans of Hellhammer, Bathory, Venom, Celtic Frost, Sodom, and Motorhead, take note!
In the meantime, hear The Fires of Heaven in its entirety exclusively HERE, courtesy of Decibel, North America’s only monthly metal magazine. Preorder info can be found HERE at Armageddon Label‘s Bandcamp. Cover artwork, courtesy of Adam Burke, and tracklisting are as follows:
Tracklisting for Malleus (U.S.)’s The Fires of Heaven
1. The Tempest
2. A Dark Sun Rises
3. Beyond the Pale
5. The Fires of Heaven
6. Into the Flesh
8 Mourning War