SKULL656

MALICIOUS DAMAGE, Malicious Damage (1989, demo)

The skull:
How many seconds do you think it took them to come up with this one?

The music:
I was hoping for some delicious jammage from this four-song, 11-minute tape. I mean, death/thrash metal from Florida circa 1989? I’m in. What we get is some fairly standard thrash, no more, no less. It’s fast, that’s for sure, but it was already getting a bit late for new thrash bands to enter the scene, bust down the door and impress. Pretty sure this demo got a handful of okay reviews in the ‘zines despite a mostly “ho hum” reception from the greater metal world. I was around then, totally immersed in metal of all kinds, reading shitloads of ‘zines, and I don’t remember any sort of buzz on Malicious Damage. The vocalist sneers like a Zetro-meets-Killian madman, and it’s both annoying and impressive at the exact same time. You have to credit his ferocity. Musically it recalls those vocalists’ bands, merging the off-kilter madness of early Exodus with the more disciplined frenzy of Vio-lence. Unfortunately it’s more Acrophet than Gammacide, if you know what I mean. I have to give special mention to the guitar sound, which is a warped, overdriven, vacuum-cleaner kinda thing at its best (opener “Can’t Escape”). Weirdly, it sounds like the demo was recorded in separate sessions, as there’s a much cleaner guitar sound by the time you get to third song, “Killing Season.” Or maybe you’re just used to it by then. Inexplicably, the band returned in 2005 with an EP proceeded to put three self-released albums out there that, I’m going to imagine, were received with only lukewarm enthusiasm. Helluva demo cover though, yeah!
— Friar Wagner

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