Having perfected the thrash genre with 2011’s The Thrashening, In Malice’s Wake have been leaning more and more into extreme metal acroos their last couple of releases. With “Gehenna” – the closing track form their fantastic fourth record The Blindness of Faith – the Melbourne metal Titans have finally taken the plunge into full-blown death metal.
The Blindness of Faith is an unrelenting and uncompromising effort from its opening moments to its last. Yet, even by the record’s lofty standards, “Gehenna” stands out as, not only the album’s most ferocious offering, but easily the most extreme number In Malice’s Wake have so far put their name to.
That The Blindness of Faith might be a more death metal-leaning record was heavily suggested by the impromptu cover of Morbid Angel‘s “Immortal Rites” released just prior to its announcement. Although Slayer are still In Malice’s Wake’s most obvious touchstone, you can definitely hear the Morbid Angel influence on “Gehenna”. The opening riff reeks of the death metal overlord’s early material, which In Malice’s Wake manage to merge perfectly with some slower South of Heaven/Seasons in the Abyss-era Slayer vibes. It’s one of the quartet’s most ambitious and accomplished compilations to date.
As frontman Shaun Farrugia (guitars/vocals) explains, the track was “a huge band collaborative effort”; “Something about the epic darkness of this track seemed to serve as a summary encapsulating the spirit of the tracks that preceded it. It was also an even 50/50 split of Leigh [Bartley, guitars] and my material, which is rare as a song is usually written predominantly by one of us or the other. … Hope everyone loves it!”