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Review: Malédiction - Condamnés

Label: Brennus Music
Year released: 2001
Duration: 43:21
Tracks: 8
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: September 20, 2007
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating

Rated 4.67/5 (93.33%) (3 Votes)

I bought this album several months ago, based solely on good comments I had read here and there. I wasn't particularly impressed after a couple of listens and, as my internal policy dictates, I put it aside for a while to see if it'd sound better later. Well, it does. Malédiction is a French heavy metal band that unfortunately split up just a little over a month ago. The lyrics are all in French, but it seems they had quite a good following in non-French speaking countries, based on all the praise I've read (and the global depression than followed the announce of them splitting up.) "Condamnés" is mid-paced overall, never going really fast - unlike countrymates Killers, for example - and they're not all that heavy either.

I wouldn't go as far as calling this "easy-listening metal", but this is more likely to get one into chronic foot-tapping rather than into a headbanging frenzy. That's not a criticism, however, as this is very well played and quite catchy and downright metal overall. You can hear hints of bands like Maiden, Metallica and Killers, but played slower and "lighter" than you would normally expect. The album's beat is more akin to the pace of early Ozzy studio albums (and I'd say one of the guitarists has listened to quite a bit of Randy Rhoads' material.) Malédiction excel at coming up with good metallic melodies, old school galloping riffs and solos, and even flirting with an epic sound at times. The album speeds up at the very end, the last song being an ADX cover. The vocals are probably what turned me off the first time I got this album, the singer has a very clear, almost "girlie" voice (for lack of a better term - he doesn't actually sound like a girl. ;)) The singer isn't bad by any means, but it might be an acquired taste for some.

Bottom line, Malédiction gives (gave...) a modern sound to old school melodic heavy metal. If that's your thing, then this album is highly recommended. I know it's going to be spinning more around here from now on. :)

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