Label: Necktwister
Out: December 21st, 2023
Playing time: 24:41

Malevolent is the brainchild of experienced Belgian/French composer/musician Nikolaas Van Riet. He tries to combine the beginnings of Symphonic and Gothic Metal, which he grew up with, with a new modern, strongly cinematically inspired sound. This should appeal to the younger generation of fans. Lead singer Celica Soldream is a very experienced Spanish singer with a Celtic-inspired sound. The EP was produced by Joost Van den Broek (e.g. Powerwolf, Epica, Blind Guardian).

“Gaze” starts with sacred chants. Later, drums and powerful orchestral arrangements kick in. Celica Soldream’s pleasant vocals initially slow the tempo down a little. But only temporarily. “Ways” is no less epic. But here the guitars dominate later on. It is less bombastic during the vocals. This mid-tempo song is also characterised by hard riffs. And rounded off by a guitar solo. “Light” starts balladesque and also offers balladesque passages later on. Otherwise, it is mostly in the mid-tempo range. Vocalises from the singer can occasionally be heard. Growls (Mark Jansen) come in later. In “Creations” we hear beautiful melodies that are strongly anchored in the mainstream. However, these are counteracted by harsh growls. The highlight, at least from my point of view, comes at the very end with “The Awakening”. Even though this song is labelled as a bonus track. Epic choruses open the song, followed by orchestral arrangements. Later on, we move more or less into the mid-tempo range.

Malovent’s debut EP leaves me in a rollercoaster of emotions. Celica Soldream’s vocal performance and the occasional, mostly subtle growls should be emphasised. But I miss a bit of variety in the songwriting and the arrangements. Alongside the epic parts, the Rock and Metal passages simply remain too flat. There’s still a lot of room for improvement.

Malevolent – Gaze (Official Lyric Video):


Nikolaas Van Riet – Composer, Vocals, Guitars
Celica Soldream – Vocals
Koen Herfst – Drums
Jan Verschueren – Lead Guitars
Mark Jansen – Guest Vocals

Track list:

  • Creations
  • Gaze
  • Light
  • Ways
  • The Awakening (Bonus track)
  • Overall Rating - 7/10


Disturbingly Good


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