One of the relatively more noteworthy also-rans of the '80s Los Angeles metal scene, Malice released a pair of albums for Atlantic in 1985 and 1987, respectively, before guitarist Jay Reynolds jumped ship to join pal Dave Mustaine's band Megadeth for a brief spell after Chris Poland got the boot. License to Kill is the second of the band's albums and is perhaps most noteworthy for its Max Norman contribution. Norman produced, engineered, and mixed the album, and that at least counts for something as he's quite the metal journeyman, best known for producing several Ozzy albums during the '80s as well as Megadeth's Countdown to Extinction and albums of various other metal bands like Y&T, Dangerous Toys, Loudness, Armored Saint, Savatage, Lynch Mob, and Ugly Kid Joe. His trademark "metal" production aside, License to Kill isn't all that special. Malice sound an awful lot like latter-day Judas Priest — a soaring vocalist preaching the metal gospel ("I'm a vigilante!"), a twin lead guitar attack that trades off solos — and, frankly, you'd be better off just listening to one of your Priest albums than License to Kill. Then again, if you just can't get enough of that latter-day Priest sound and have worn out your Defenders of the Faith album, there's a good chance you'll enjoy what's in store here. Likewise, if you're a die-hard '80s metalhead and just can't get enough of that leather-and-hair sound, you certainly might want to add this one to your collection. It's certainly as good as anything, say, Loudness ever recorded. Atlantic let it go out of print long ago, but Wounded Bird reissued it in 2004. Lastly, this is no doubt a trivial tidbit, but old-school Megadeth fans will be tickled to discover that Mustaine and Dave Ellefson are credited with background vocals on two songs (i.e., they shout "license to kill!" à la Mötley Crüe on the chorus of the title track).
Along with Bitch, Cirith Ungol and the now legendary Metallica, Malice were one of the standout bands featured on 1982's genre defining Metal Massacre, Vol. 1 compilation. In fact, with not one but two contributions ("Captive of Light" and "Kick you Down") which sounded significantly more mature than Metallica's own barely formed original version of "Hit the Lights," Malice seemed headed for fame and fortune, yet were derailed along the way. Malice's origins lie in Hawaii, of all places, where guitarist... Full bio