Malsten – Larum Single Review

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Larum is the first single from the upcoming album Rites of Passage: The Haunting of Silvåkra, a concept album that sits conceptually in the vein of King Diamond. By that I mean that this is an in-depth telling of a horror story that employs an almost narrative style, but through the medium of atmosphere focused funeral/epic doom metal. Personally, I can’t wait for the full album to drop, if this is just a taste then I am extremely hopeful for what’s to come.

Artist: Malsten
Album: Rites of Passage: The Haunting of Silvåkra
Single: Larum
Label: Svart Records
Release Date: December 1, 2023
Location: Malmö, Sweden

Written by James Sweetlove

This was very much a “come for the album art and title, stay for the music” scenario, as the band’s portrayal of a haunting and their thematic focus upon it immediately drew me in. However, once I was here and listened to the full single, I was completely hooked and left wishing that this was the full album available and not just this one incredible track.

Larum is the first single from the upcoming album Rites of Passage: The Haunting of Silvåkra, a concept album that sits conceptually in the vein of King Diamond. By that I mean that this is an in-depth telling of a horror story that employs an almost narrative style of story telling, but through the medium of atmosphere focused funeral/epic doom metal. To quote the band “The folk horror-themed story revolves around an unfortunate soul succumbing to an ancient evil residing in a derelict mill.”

Vocally the track has powerful clean epic doom vocals with an almost operatic quality to them. There’s just enough fading and echoed effects to give real impact, but not so much that it takes away at all from the authenticity of the music. I’m reminded a little of Rob Lowe in his role with Soletude Aeternus. These vocals are a fantastic vehicle to tell this story as they’ve been performed in such a way that they sound haunting themself.

Instrumentally the band hit us with some real weight, as they guitar, bass and drums are all crushingly heavy. They move at a consistent creeping pace, with an almost funeral doom crawl to them. There’s a perfect level of reverb and distortion applied to help enhance heaviness without stripping the music of its epic quality. There’s a funeral doom type quality to the monotonous lumbering pace and tone of the music.

I’ll keep this short as its only a single being reviewed, so in summary if you like epic doom metal and enjoy the horror story telling quality of King Diamond, then this may be for you. Personally, I can’t wait for the full album to drop, if this is just a taste then I am extremely hopeful for what’s to come.




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