MALEVOLENCE forcefully turned everyone’s attention to them when they dropped their frightfully brilliant debut back in 2013. Reign of Suffering displayed a band that were ridiculously confident in delivering their combination of in your face metal and bruising beat downs, with the two sounds intertwining with relative ease all whilst blistering along at a genuine breakneck speed.
The debut saw a lot of rightful praise and allowed the band to tour the world, but it would unfortunately be another four years until they would finally follow up with the highly anticipated Self Supremacy, digging further into the well that gave them so much before. What the band return with is another thrashing monster of a record that refuses to take any prisoners, instead just deciding to try and lop your head off upon first listen.
Coming out the gate swinging like an absolute lunatic, the title track starts off well meaning but immediately cranks up the intensity with machine gun rapid double bass. Bleeding into the equally intense Trial By Fire results in an opening combination that is unlike anything else. MALEVOLENCE seem intent on defending their reputation as the ultimate aggressors and it is done with frightful confidence.
The good news is that Self Supremacy does not falter or even miss a beat. It drops the listener right on their head with the opening title track. The basic genes of the MALEVOLENCE sounds are amped up even more on this record, with the blasts going faster and the slams hitting even harder. It’s an impressive step up considering their last effort, but the band also make sure that a few new elements are initiated into the already complex blueprint. What the result ends up being is a Frankenstein sound that seems caught somewhere between SLAYER when at their most vicious dancing with CROWBAR in a surprisingly graceful manner.
With guitarist Konan Hall taking on more vocal duties across all the songs, it immediately adds another dynamic to the already hugely incendiary music, adding much needed moments of clarity in amongst the flurry of riffs, as well as bringing a strong dynamic between his slow crooning and Alex Taylor‘s hardcore growl that spits some genuinely unfriendly lyrics. Self Supremacy plays host to a number of guest vocal spots as well, with Andrew Neufield of COMEBACK KID delivering an empowering performance, as a rumbling bass line swings low before he spouts “sometimes you gotta cut the grass to find the fucking snake” with glorious aplomb.
True Colours serves as a stand out track that boasts guitar licks in the chorus that will become instant earworms, making it a surprising album highlight. Where the vocal melodies fail to be catchy the riffs MALEVOLENCE produce more than make up, showing their incredible musical capability. Of course, as previously mentioned, the heavier parts are so much heavier and the speedy parts will take the skin right off your skull. With a fantastic mix that finds enough room for all the contingent parts it’s a genuine wonder job and it speaks volumes for the fact that the band clearly haven’t been sat on their hands for the past four years. The band have also taken great care to work on the structure of their songs, with tracks like Slave To Satisfaction showing a lot more care when writing in choruses before tunes like Outnumbered show that they have no fear when throwing all forms of song structure to the wind and simply deciding to simply shred for three straight minutes.
MALEVOLENCE had a big order to fill following on from their debut, and the outcome far surpasses anything anyone can expect from the band. With a far more focused approach and now boasting more lethality with regards to the tightness between the band members, MALEVOLENCE have become efficient in their delivery of some of the most exciting and jaw-shatteringly heavy crossover music. Self Supremacy is a statement of intent from one of Britain’s best new musical exports, and they really aren’t fucking around.
Self Supremacy is set for release on May 19th via BDHW Records
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