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Malevolent Creation - The 13th Beast Award winner

Malevolent Creation
The 13th Beast
by Kayla Hutton at 23 January 2019, 5:17 AM

Cleverly titled "The 13th Beast" this marks, you got it, MALEVOLENT CREATION's 13th studio album released via Century Media on January 18th, 2019. Formed in NY in 1987 the band relocated to Florida and became one of a handful of bands that created that sought after Florida death metal sound. Despite the departure and then passing of Brett Hoffman on July 7th, 2018, MALEVOLENT CREATION sounds as fierce as ever.

Let's begin "The 13th Beast" in a way most fitting. "I cut off his legs…." an audio sample begins. Joined by a clean-toned guitar playing slow plucks of impending doom. In true old school death metal form the melody becomes distorted and plays over the now conjoining layers that consist of fast tempo drums, thick low-end bass and drop tuned guitars. In comes, a growl that Hoffman would be proud of and Chris Barnes only wishes he was still capable of these days. In a low but not guttural growl, the words are semi-audible and come bearing down with the force of lightning striking the ground. Showing more fury than 2015s "Dead Mans' Path", "End the Torture" is nothing short of a pledge of allegiance to all that there is to love about death metal.

With no tale tell signs of redundancy or slowing down MALEVOLENT CREATION goes straight for the throat. Blasting through speed metal riffs and owning at solo's that plow through fields of the weak, leaving carnage and destruction for the world to see. "Mandatory Butchery" is the signature of the heads taken as trophies displayed like elegant jewelry in a case. The sheer force of attack delivered from the rhythm section couldn't escape the recording, as you can hear the sound of a pick to a string and a string making its way to the surrounding plastic of the pickups. The higher pitched scrapping and bouncing fits right in as it keeps the time of the upbeat.

"Decimated" begins with a full-on battle assault. By the verse, a fast-paced groove kicks in with palm muted power chords sliding back and forth. The bands dynamic and timing are dead on. For some reason a right panned open hi-hat, despite being obviously turned down due to the intensity of power behind each hit, comes through the mix. As it stands out, the metal resonance symbolizes strength and devourment. The layering of vocals and stereo simulation brings a sense of being surrounded and outnumbered.

The final track "Release The Soul" has a very SLAYERish opening riff and is the slowest paced track. While slower isn't a bad thing, it adds to a more thick and painful suffering sound ala OBITUARY. For death metal, it's a very catchy and addictive track, thus worth a mention. Overall, time has somehow stood still for MALEVOLENT CREATION. They seem ageless and they haven't missed a beat. At the time of their conception, a slew of amazing death metal bands joined them. Somehow MALEVOLENT CREATION didn't get as far as CANNIBAL CORPSE, OBITUARY, MORBID ANGEL or even DEICIDE. I never understood what exactly set them apart from not receiving the same acknowledgment. Even when they headlined back in the day and played to a club of maybe 50 of us, they owned it more so than the others. Rather than blast over tremolo picking of 4 notes these guys had strong structural rhythms, great sound, and are constantly making improvements to assure each album progressed ahead of the one prior.

MALEVOLENT CREATION has outdone themselves once again with "The 13th Beast". Proving that there really is no rest for the wicked. The audio production value is splendid and there wasn't a single dull moment.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

Overall: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. End The Torture
2. Mandatory Butchery
3. Agony For The Chosen
4. Canvas Of Flesh
5. Born Of Pain
6. The Beast Awakened
7. Decimated
8. Bleed Us Free
9. Knife At Hand
10. Trapped Inside
11. Release The Soul
Lineup:
Phil Fasciana - Guitars
Lee Wollenschlaeger - Vocals/Guitars
Josh Gibbs - Bass
Phil Cancilla - Drums
Record Label: Century Media Records
     


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