Through the Eyes of the Dead are basically a new band now – and not just because only one original member remains, guitarist Justin Longshore. (Original guitarist Richard Turbeville is temporarily filling in for live dates.) Their sound has changed drastically, almost unrecognizably. On debut full-length Bloodlust, TTEOTD were simply one of the hordes of metalcore bands aping At the Gates a la The Black Dahlia Murder.
On Malice, the band has almost fully divested itself of "-core" stock. A few sturdy breakdowns remain, but otherwise the sound is straight-up death metal. The core riffs are atonal, amid copious blastbeats and embellishment from melodic harmonies and diminished arpeggios. A slowed-down Necrophagist comes to mind, as does recent God Dethroned.
The biggest change is vocalist Nate Johnson, of Premonitions of War repute. His deep growls are much more muscular than predecessor Anthony Gunnells' midrange screams. In general, the overall package is beefier. Producer Erik Rutan is a notorious drill sergeant in the studio, which is evident here. The performances are tight and commanding, and the sound is massive. After a while, the songs feel same-y. But if TTEOTD play essentially one song, it's a new one, and quite strong.