As is the usual format for most bands, MALEVOLENCE have hit the road to support their new album Self Supremacy. Only difference is, MALEVOLENCE aren’t your usual band and so from the moment this tour with Scottish bruisers REVULSION and notorious American beatdown artists NO ZODIAC was announced, the consensus was that this was to be one of the most violent and unpredictable tours of 2017, and the consensus was not wrong at all.
Continuing their trend of letting locals bands open the show, CURBSTOMP open tonight’s proceedings well. Despite the vocals being completely un-recognisable the music still incites enough violence to allow people to get the first bruises out the way.
It is REVULSION that truly kick things up a gear. With a sludgy sound that retains the hard hitting moments of hardcore means that not only do they sound apart from the rest of the line up but it also allows them to deliver what is just an unrelenting set of pummelling aggression. Their oppressive sounds completely fills the room and with no downtime in their set, they blast through choice cuts from their Misery Hymns EP as well as new song The Reckoning Noise, all of which simply demolish the venue.
Before even beginning their first song, NO ZODIAC prove themselves to be an imposing force on stage. With a pedigree of delivering the most brutal beatdown the American shores can offer, their set, whilst certainly violent, never really feels like it gains as much traction as they would like. With a relatively scarce and scared crowd on the ground it was only those fully initiated into the band’s back catalogue that gained the most out of their set. With a few minor mistakes including a cocked up guest slot from Andy of DESOLATED and a false start during The Tribulation, their set was still a dominating performance that would intimidate even the most battle-worn pit veterans.
Despite all of the aggression beforehand, everyone who has survived this far still has stores of energy left in the bag for when MALEVOLENCE make their way to the stage. Opener Slave To Satisfaction makes the room erupt into chaos and the energy is never dropped for one moment. When older songs like Condemned To Misery play, it becomes clear that the band are in fact maimed, with only one guitar coming through front of house, meaning that the songs are immediately hindered, but you wouldn’t be able to tell it form their performance and the way the crowd react. New songs Self Supremacy and Severed Ties make sure those standing still start moving their feet and by the time closer Serpants Chokehold begins everyone in the room has sweat (or blood) dripping from their faces. Even without a fully working sound MALEVOLENCE still display an incredible confidence and having the tunes to boot probably helps quite a lot. MALEVOLENCE are one of the UKs finest bands, but they need a warning everywhere they go, because the violence and carnage that follows them is not for the faint of heart.
Check out our photo gallery of the night’s action in Birmingham from Serena Hill Photography here: