Vera : Malphas hails from Philadelphia (USA) and plays hectic progressive blackened melodeath metal. The band was formed in 2012 by Paul DeSanctis who does the creepy black-like vocals and grunts. He regales the multilayered songs with virtuoso guitar solos (mostly of a dizzy-making speed) and he programs a lot. The other founding member is drummer Eric Dunleavy. The trio was completed in 2014 with rhythm guitarist Damian DiFrancesco. He also does any backing vocals and I guess that the incidental clean vocals at the end of ‘Floods (An Act Of God)’ come from him.
After the EP ‘The Conjuring’ in 2015, ‘The 39th Spirit’ happens to be their first full length album. There is a concept in the lyrics. Mankind tries to destroy the roots of organized religion and in the end they wonder if the world they have created is better than the one before. It is summarized in ten compositions, complex and multilayered songs. ‘Invoking The 39th Spirit’ begins with prog-like guitar runs, vocals are sick and eerie, but lyrics are intelligible. They really play tight, but everything is abundantly relished with orchestral arrangements. A lot of orchestration and they even insert some sounds of nature. Strangely enough the second track ‘Volcano Winter’ happens to be a short intermezzo with acoustic guitars, violin and choirs. In the songs ‘Floods (An Act Of God)’ and ‘You Will Lead My Armies’ we can hear lovely, playful piano notes running through the rest. ‘Legions’ happens to be Spartan tight. We hear choirs in many of the songs, adding a sacral feel. References with Dimmu Borgir and Fleshgod Apocalypse cross my mind as bands of this ilk. In ‘Red Constellations’ the guitars have a kind of folkloristic tinge. The tracks are breathtaking hectic and chock-full. They round off with ‘Heavens Fall’ which is made up in two parts and once again it is fast and hectic stuff. Malphas aims high to manifest themselves with a signature style and sound. Those who have a liking for hectic, multilayered extreme metal with orchestration, should check this out.