MALICE – In The Beginning… [Rock Candy Remastered & Reloaded]

MALICE - In The Beginning... [Rock Candy Remastered & Reloaded] full

If there was one ’80s album needing an proper remastering, MALICE first cult effort “In The Beginning…” won the prize. Fortunately, it has been Remastered & Reloaded by Rock Candy Records. With the rise in the early ’80s American metal scene, bands were forming from coast to coast with California / Bay Area being the epicentre of the movement. It was also the home of Metal Blade Records, a fiercely pro-active independent label dedicated to unearthing the best of the breed.

Amongst their discoveries were Metallica, Metal Church, Armored Saint and… Malice.
A five piece of considerable fire power and force, Malice exploded onto the scene with lightning effect, winning critical plaudits for their demos and tracks on Metal Blade’s now legendary ‘Metal Massacre 1’ album, and a dedicated following amongst metal starved fans.

MALICE - In The Beginning... [Rock Candy Remastered & Reloaded] (2016) booklet

All this energy and excitement led to a major label deal, with giants Atlantic Records providing the launching pad for Malice debut album, co-produced by Ashley Howe (Ted Nugent, Uriah Heep) and Michael Wagener (Dokken, Mötley Crüe, Accept).
Titled “In The Beginning…”, its heavily European influenced style elicited instant comparisons to Judas Priest due to vocalist James Neal sounding uncannily like Rob Halford in addition to fielding a guitar duo in the twin guitar attack Tipton/Downing mode, with Malice’s Jay Reynolds looking like a dead ringer for K.K. Downing.

But “In The Beginning…” has a sound that combines the very best of British NWOBHM with American classic metal, and it has its very own identity. It’s a rocking album that resonates with excitement from the very first chord to the very last dying note.
It’s a comprehensive assault on the senses with enough explosiveness to take on a tank battalion and comprehensively dismantle all opposition. Check out tracks such as ‘Godz Of Thunder’, ‘Air Attack’, ‘Hellrider’ and ‘Steller Masters’ for proof, if proof were needed, of just how uncompromising this band were.

MALICE - In The Beginning... [Rock Candy Remastered & Reloaded] (2016) back

Now, listening “In The Beginning…” in perspective, decades after its original release, the album originally considered ‘metal’ now feels classic rock, classic metal if you want.
To me, Malice sounds more close to the first Dokken or even Queensryche than Judas Priest, and these great songs feel typically American. It’s a killer set of classic stuff.
We really liked the Rock Candy remastering treatment; it’s sharp and with an analog heart, something this kind of records need.
Highly Recommended


01 – Rockin’ With You
02 – Into The Ground
03 – Air Attack
04 – Stellar Masters
05 – Tarot Dealer
06 – Squeeze It Dry
07 – Hellrider
08 – No Haven For The Raven
09 – The Unwanted
10 – Godz Of Thunder

James Neal – Vocals
Jay Reynolds – Guitars
Mick Zane – Guitars
Mark Behn – Bass, Taurus Pedals
Clifford Carothers – Drums



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