Maladia Sacred Fires 12”

When I saw MALADIA play, close on eighteen months ago, they were billed second to PERMISSION, and while those two groups diverge somewhat from a baseline sound—one more weird, the other more ferocious—together they’re top of the line in modern London hardcore. Sacred Fires is MALADIA’s first vinyl release after a 2019 demo, and they have upped the (already intense) intensity for twelve minutes and five slippery rippers. John Weston sounds extra anarcho-aggro on the mic and the VOID via post-Pope Adrian RUDIMENTARY PENI blown-out deathrock vibe gets rolled up in a comparably more psychedelic carpet on the B-side. This is feeling like a sleeper hit of 2021 DIY punk.