WORDS: James Weaver
They say if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. This could not be more true for death metal. As bands reinvent themselves to keep with modern interests, death metal proudly gives it the middle finger through its barrage of riffs and stampeding drumbeats. MALEVOLENT CREATION have been a key player in the death metal scene since their inception in 1987, and 18 years later the band are ready to unleash album number 12, Dead Man’s Path. As times change, does the old guard stand firm and continue to push the extreme to new boundaries?
Dead Man’s Path takes a little longer than one would like to get the proceedings started. Opening track, Dead Man’s Path, adopts a trait that has become common for extreme bands, to build momentum with dramatic sounds before unfolding into the carnage of death metal. But clocking in at nearly five minutes of sheer build-up drags, not a good start. Thankfully the opening track is perhaps the only downside to what is a solid death metal record. MALEVOLENT CREATION take no prisoners with their relentless assault of the ears and champion the strongest characteristics of the sub-genre.
Riffs are performed to such exquisite brutality, it creates a real sense of awe. With Phil Fasciana and Gio Geraca building a solid twin guitar relationship, it enables MALEVOLENT CREATION to drive real force into their riffs which form the mould of the record. From the opening drive of Soul Razor, the entirety of Dead Man’s Path is an all out death metal assault, Corporate Weaponry laces the groove with intoxicating breakdowns where as Resistance Is Victory features Brett Hoffman‘s recognisable growls backed with a closing riff that is utterly brutal. It’s ruthless, fast and just what is expected from MALEVOLENT CREATION.
Whilst recent death metal records have suffered from repetition, there is enough creativity on Dead Man’s Path that keeps the record fresh. Imperium (Kill Force Rising) clocks over six minutes which allows the band’s talent to really shine whilst Extinction Personified unfolds with a slow pounding riff that replicates the old school death metal sound in grand fashion. The five piece have really nailed their sound with each member’s contribution gelling the chaotic sound brilliantly. Jason Blachowicz‘s bass and Justin DiPinto‘s drumming keep the rhythm consistent with pace ebbing and flowing, the guitar efforts of Phil Fasciana and Gio Geraca provide the hooks to capture the listener’s attention and Brett Hoffman‘s vocal deliveries are strong and pack the final punch.
Dead Man’s Path boldly proclaims what makes death metal so enjoyable. By championing the core characteristics throughout, it respects the roots of the genre through ten tracks of pure chaos. Whilst the old guard of extreme metal may find it difficult to keep up with the pace, MALEVOLENT CREATION have shrugged off these challenges with absolute ease. Dead Man’s Path is a fantastic record and is an essential addition to any extreme music fan’s library.
Dead Man’s Path is set for release on October 2nd via Century Media Records.