Malevolent Creation, emerged from the death metal hot bed of Florida in the late 80’s, releasing their first album The Ten Commandments in 1991. The lyric ‘No one can destroy this Malevolent Creation’ from the eponymous track on their debut is now even more apt.
Guitarist Phil Fasciana is the only founding member who has remained a constant and his announcement of a return with a new lineup in 2017 was warmly welcomed. Sadly, July 2018 saw the loss of original vocalist Brett Hoffmann to illness, but this beast will not be stilled. This thirteenth release, The 13th Beast doesn’t sway from the bands’ established, brutal death metal format but does introduce P.M. Cancilla (drums), Josh Gibbs (bass) and vocalist/guitarist Lee Wollenschlaeger (formerly Throne Of Nails, Imperial Empire).
“This is the biggest honour I could ever be given”, says Lee Wollenschlaeger. “The opportunity to front one of my all-time favorite bands, and an even bigger pleasure of jamming with such great people. We have created one of the most relentless albums of MALEVOLENT CREATION’s history.”
It’s a relentless behemoth of an album, the closest thing to a musical interlude is the opening of the first track- the inimitable, chilling voice of Rutger Hauer uttering ‘Because I cut off his legs… and his arms… and his head… and I’m going to do the same to you’ (from The Hitcher, 1986).
Then the onslaught begins. Subtley doomy, melodic and heavy to commence. Then the intensity of End The Torture commences. The savagery is ferocious, this beast has teeth and there is no escaping the strength in its jaws. This is skull crushingly intense. Mandatory Butchery is the second track and their first ferocious comeback release, on first listen at release this was a breath of fresh air. It’s mad, bad and dangerous to listen to. Surprisingly catchy, maximum velocity riffs, blast beats and incredible accuracy in delivery. Sweeping the listener into a tarantella of a maelstrom from which there is no escape. The syncopation in the vocal delivery of Agony For The Chosen ramps up the magnitude while the skilled and uncompromising musical monstrosities sweep away all in their path.
Decimated was the second alum track released and if I had balls I would have screamed with the force with which they were grabbed. Decimated your life is mine.. The pummelling of the drums, the building tension in the guitars, the diving bass and intense vocals accompanying a video mini film of an equally disconcerting prelude to decimation is truly a match made in the darkest of realms. Directed by Guilherme Henriques, it’s marvellously atmospheric, probably NSFW and delightfully disturbing. Check it out here
“‘Decimated’ encapsulates the feeling of “The 13th Beast” in the best way possible: Fast, aggressive and relentless. We hope everyone enjoys it as much as we do. See you on the road soon!” Lee Wollenschlaeger
Such is the sheer brutality and accomplishment, incredible stand alone tracks such as Born of Pain are somewhat lost in amongst such ferocity and intensity. In fact, each track in isolation is incredible.
The production is sublime, too often death metal has relied on the old school, underground, shared demos of the 80’s sound, where there were both technological and financial restraints. The instruments are defined with a clarity that allows you to marvel at the remorseless songwriting skills and the technical prowess of all concerned. The defining difference however, are the vocals of Wollenschlaeger. Deeper in tone than Hoffmann, he is a more than worthy frontman, but dare I say that his tones are a little ‘samey’? His merciless intensity in a lower register is inspired, he is no jumped up imposter, this is the real thing and he owns the right to be proud of his vocal and guitarwork delivery.
Yet for me there’s no light and shade, I’m not craving sweet harmonies or respite just a variation in tone. Perhaps it’s too brutal for my sensitive ears. Or perhaps I’ve forgotten the intensity of first listening to Napalm Death and the explosive joy it inspired. Is this thirteenth release from Malevolent Creation their most unmerciful yet?
Expanding upon Dead Man’s Path (2015), this monster berserks further and harder destroying all in its path.
No interludes. No intermissions. No respite. Just death metal. Intense. Relentless. Masterful. Death
MALEVOLENT CREATION “The 13th Beast” (49:28)
- End The Torture
- Mandatory Butchery
- Agony For The Chosen
- Canvas Of Flesh
- Born Of Pain
- The Beast Awakened
- Bleed Us Free
- Knife At Hand
- Trapped Inside
- Release The Soul
Malevolent Creation, The 13th Beast will be released January 18 and can be purchased here
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