Jacob Loebner: vocals (since replaced by Nicklas Sonne)
Mads Lind Ingeman: guitar
Patrick Nybroe: guitar
Ulrik Soelgaard-Nielsen: bass
Mikkel Johnsen: drums
2. Forbidden Fruit
3. Cycle of Abuse
4. Prelude Serpent’s Coil
5. Serpent’s Coil
6. Bury the Dead For You
8. Eye of Horus
9. Light the Way
10. The Ignorant…
11. Dance of the Satyr
12. The Ghost of You
Hard rock fans looking for a new act to sink their teeth into need look no further than the subject of today’s review, Dutch rockers Malrun. The band formed in 2005 and have already released two full-length albums, ‘Beauty in Chaos’ and ‘The Empty Frame’. Their third album, entitled ‘Two Thrones’, was recently released via ViciSolum Productions. The band toured extensively throughout 2012/13, and have utilised this experience to create songs that are more “immediately impacting” to the listener, to quote them.
When giving ‘Two Thrones’ a spin, it becomes immediately apparent that Malrun are one of those bands that straddle the boundary between hard rock and metal. Vocalist Jacob Loebner (since replaced by new vocalist Nicklas Sonne) has a great voice for either genre, gliding between rich, clean vocals and powerful screams with ease. He is ably backed by his bandmates, which creates some lovely harmonies.
As is expected from a hard rock band, there are some terrific singalong choruses, such as those in opening track ‘Justine’ and the Muse-esque ‘Serpent’s Coil’. There are also catchy, pounding beats and some really quite tasty riffs – the one that pervades ‘Confessions’ is a brilliant example.
Their sound is best described as ‘Lacuna Coil meets The Defiled’, with a dash of the grandiosity of the aforementioned Muse. The combination is highly successful, resulting in melodic yet tough hard rock anthems, such as ‘Forbidden Fruit’ and the plaintive ‘Light the Way’. They also throw in a taste of the Seventies in ‘Bury the Dead For You’ and some Eighties attitude in ‘Eye of Horus’.
Their heavier side is also given an airing, particularly during track three, the blastbeat-filled ‘Cycle of Abuse’ and the powerful double-bass swirl of ‘Dance of the Satyr’.
As is so often the case, the best is left for last. Their epic ballad ‘The Ghost of You’, with its emotion-laden proggy feel and bittersweet lyrics (“Some scars never heal…wishing the past could be undone…every little thing I do reminds me of the ghost of you”) combine to create a highly charged, affecting and really quite beautiful song – haunting, if you’ll pardon the pun.
‘Two Thrones’ is, in short, an enthusiastic and highly enjoyable addition to the hard rock annals. It ticks all the boxes (fun to sing along to? Check. Toe-tapping melodies? Check. Power ballads mourning lost loves? Check and check!) to create a lively and thoroughly modern album. So, if all of that sounds like it’s right up your street then check out the above links and enjoy this tasty morsel.