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MISFITS OF METAL: Malicious Onslaught

by Eli Kroes

For a genre comprised ENTIRELY of outsiders, it should be apparent that there is some pretty out-there stuff in the metal world. Here are some of my favorite metal musicians who are so weird they don't even fit into THAT scene...  

Okay, so there are probably LOTS of awful death metal records. I probably heard about 50 percent of them when I was DJing a metal show. However, there seems to be a unanimous agreement among internet metalheads that Malicious Onslaught's 1994 album 'Brutal Gore' is one of the absolute worst. Most reviews point to the fact that the band wanted to be a grindcore band more than anything, and there is a lot of blame thrown at the production as well.

So what's up with this lost hunk of wax?

Well, the production is...interesting. I wouldn't say terrible, but I have notoriously bad taste in everything. I'll call it 'psychedelic.' Not in the sense that the album expands your mind, but because they probably got stuck with some guy who was engineering 70's jam bands because that's all they could afford. So, we've got odd effects all over the place, drums panned to left and right for NO reason at all, vocals that fade in and out of the mix (coupled with deranged effects) and a general feeling of 'something is wrong' throughout.

The band might be your standard Death ripoff, but who can tell through the mess of effects and weirdness? They do have some interesting guitar interplay, and the vocals (when they're audible) are competent, but whoever produced/engineered this album turned it into something else completely.

I thought it was an interesting and bizarre listen, despite certain tracks being a lot louder than others, which is annoying when you're driving. I certainly wouldn't put it anywhere in the 'worst of' category.

Their first album, 'Rebellious Mayhem' is much more standard-sounding, but it still has some pretty weird production choices. Both are worth checking out (in my probably-wrong opinion) if you want something a little different than the cookie-cutter death metal that labels like Relapse are pumping out these days.

Photo by Tim Parkinson.