A piece of Heavy Metal history that proved to be a precursor to Power Metal that’s still being created today.
MALICE came out of the Portland area and are known for being one of the bands on the first of Metal Blade Record’s “Metal Massacre” compilations. Guitarist Jay Reynolds was almost in Megadeth at one point before being replaced by Jeff Young. They also appeared in the move “Vice Versa” starring Fred Savage in 1988.
Yes, they sounded a lot like Judas Priest, particularly singer James Neal. This may be blasphemous to say but his range sounded similar to the Metal God Rob Halford back on the day. They parted ways with Neal and they went their own ways for around 15 years.
Back to “In The Beginning”, their first full-length album that put out by Atlantic Records. Heavy Metal was hitting it’s peak around 1985 when this one came out. The genre was still deemed too heavy for most radio stations unless it was late at night on a specialty show. “Rockin’ With You” had more play on MTV than anywhere else and it created enough of a buzz for the band to develop a strong cult following.
The album is consistently strong with tracks like “Into The Ground”, “Tarot Dealer” and “Squeeze It Dry” being a few of the stronger tracks. There’s a strong Metal theme to the music, “Air Attack” and “Stellar Masters” give it a bit of a space wars vibe. “No Haven For The Raven” was a dark a creepy “ballad” that showed the band did have some range in their writing.
Compared to the Metal of today, this one might seem almost like soft rock to some, but in 1985 it was still pretty heavy and it still sounds over-the-top with the vocals and blistering solos. It’s old-school Heavy Metal that’s timeless for some, for others it’s outdated, but either way it’s fun to listen to.
James Neal – Vocals
Mick Zane (R.I.P. 2016) – Guitars
Jay Reynolds – Guitars
Mark Behn – Bass, Synthesizer (Taurus pedals)
Clifford Carothers – Drums