ALBUM REVIEW: Malevolence – Self Supremacy

Malevolence have only been around for a few years, yet have already made a massive impact on the metal/hardcore scene. Their 2013 release Reign Of Suffering saw them quickly become favourites and gave them the opportunity to play shows all around the world.
Three and a half years on, it’s less than a week till the release of their new album Self Supremacy. With it being announced back in March, fans all over the world have been counting down till May 19th to experience what the band have been cooking up.
Jumping straight into the album with the title track, ‘Self Supremacy’ it feels like it’s been ripped straight from their debut. The familiar tone of guitar and Malevolence’s unique drumming welcomes the fans back into the new album slowly, as well as heavily implementing Konan’s vocals which make more than an appearance in the release. This track paired with the equally batshit crazy ‘Trial By Fire’ creates an opening to an album that will go down as one of the heaviest in history.
After being taken on their first big European tour back in 2013 by Comeback Kid, Malevolence decided it would only be fair to ask Andrew to feature on ‘Severed Ties’. In an interview, drummer Charlie Thorpe said “We knew he’d come through with something sick, but he exceeded all expectations” and the combination of Andrew, Alex and Konan on one song is nothing short of an ingenious idea. The other track with a guest feature comes in the form of the second single ‘Wasted Breath’. This time featuring Kevin of The Merciless Concept – it seems a weird pairing but mixed with the melt-your-face off beatdown, it creates one of the heaviest songs on the album.

On every album there’s always a song that will be a hit live, and Malevolence have created that experience with “Body Count”. A delicate concoction of riffs, beatdowns and gang vocals will have the quietest of crowds getting rowdy. Breaking up the brutality is a little number called4AM on West Street’. A pure instrumental interlude with a sinister twist is sure to be the intro when the band tour the album later this month, finishing with a clip from the TV show The Wire it brings us into the next track. “Slave to Satisfaction” was the first single released and is easily one of the best tracks on the album. Konan is heavily involved and the vocals between the pair are malicious which pays off extremely well, and the Crowbar influences are very prominent throughout the track. The sludge-esque breakdown is one of the most rememberable pieces of the song, if not the whole album and will be stupidly heavy when played live.
The second half of the album is when Malevolence really come into full force, whether it’s the hard as fuck beatdown and ‘MLVLTD’ chant at the end of “Spineless” or the blast beat and punchy riffs filled “Outnumbered”. One song that really stood out in their previous release “Reign Of Suffering” was “Turn To Stone” due to the musical excellence that flowed throughout the 8 minutes and if you were expecting another track just like that, you won’t be disappointed – this time coming in the form of “True Colours”. Predominately Konan, it showcases everything that Malevolence are made of, and with the spine chilling riffs and stupendous drums by Thorpe complementing each other outstandingly it’s a standout across the bands discography, let alone this album.
Genre defining is not a term to be thrown around lightly, but this album is a true representation of what hardcore and metal can be when mixed together perfectly. They’ve matured immensely and the work put into this is evidently second to fucking none. Do not even try and compare “Reign of Suffering” and “Self Supremacy” as they’re both modern classics and with both albums to play with, Malevolence will put on a hell of a show when they tour in a couple of weeks. This album has been massively hyped in the underground scene and it easily exceeds any expectations you may have.

Malevolence embark on a three week long tour starting in a couple of weeks time bringing along No Zodiac and Revulsion to join the party. Pre-orders for the album can be found over on BDHW Records.

No Zodiac – Altars Of Impurity [REVIEW]

As the band have gone through various changes, No Zodiac are looking to cement this lineup as something fully solidified as the new era of the group and for their hardcore/deathcore sound. ‘Altars Of Impurity’ is the third album from the band and its a new time to show the world what they’re bringing to the table.

The band opens with ‘Santisima Muerte’ which opens up very melodically before going balls to the wall with is heavy qualities. One thing you immediately tell is the sound has a lot more of a polished gravitas to it compared to the last few releases that has been brought to the bands discography with a move away from the gritty sound that has been present. The band still bring that aggression in spades as the record moves into tracks ‘River Of Hypocrisy’ which pushes more of the groove element of their music and ‘Sigil Of Aciel’ which goes on more of a death metal influence with the tremolo picking and drum patterns throughout the majority of the track. It definitely moves into a newer sound that the band are hitting all over the map to create something not necessarily unique, but standing out from their own crowd and having something that feels like a modernised No Zodiac record.

The band continue the onslaughts with ‘Corroded Soul’ which gives you more glimpses into the bands character and throws in a few solos for good measure over a darker element that they provide as moving into ‘The Tribulation’ gives off that classic deathcore/slam vibe with the palm muted chords and use of the ride cymbal to their advantage. Further down the list you have ‘Swine’ which goes back to the same flavour of songs like ‘Constant Decay’ with the same pounding beatdown style of aggression with a deathcore twinge that flows through the veins of the track. ‘Penance’ is most certainly the track to get your head banging with the strumming pattern being a really solid staple of the track and the low screams coming through. The second half of the track goes back into hardcore/deathcore territory with a mosh friendly instrumentation with added double bass and guest vocals from Suburban Scum’s vocalist.

This whole album is a stronger push with their sound and gives you an idea of where the band are going to be setting their sights for. ‘Altars Of Impurity’ is a great blend of deathcore and hardcore with a penchant for headbanging and whilst it might not be the band you remember before, they’ve got a few ways to make you remember them now.

[7/10]

Reba Meyers, Code Orange – (18/3/17)

Before they destroyed the O2 Academy in Bristol, we got to sit down with guitarist/vocalist Reba Meyers of Code Orange and talk about the bands career progression, their latest record ‘Forever‘ and what they’d like to see change in the music industry.


For those who aren’t familiar, how would you describe Code Orange?

We are a aard, aggressive band. Whatever we want, pretty much!

You are halfway through this tour with Gojira, how has the experience been for this tour so far?

It’s been great. It’s definitely different with the crowds than we are used to in the US, there are some stoic crowds for sure up north, but its been awesome and Gojira are an amazing band.

What has been the most craziest moment of this tour, whether it be live or behind the scenes?

Probably the London show. A couple of UK shows were definitely some of the craziest moments. The crowd kind of came out of nowhere because we had played in Copenhagen and Oslo and people were respectful but it wasn’t anything like we’ve seen in the UK, like the reaction we’ve gotten is insane.

Your latest album ‘Forever‘ has been out for a few months now, how has the reception been for the record as a whole?

Good as far as I can see. You can never really tell until later down the line but I think the response has been good and people seem to understand it which is the best that we can ask for.

Who were your main inspirations for the record?

Lists of bands! There’s kind of different sections that we take influence from such as hardcore, especially from the Pittsburg area. You’ve also got metal bands and you also have synth based bands like Nine Inch Nails and then you’ve also got more alt type bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden. Just all over the map.

Do the colour schemes on your records represent anything in particular?

I mean, I wasn’t the one who decided on the colour scheme, that was Jami (drummer), but yeah I would say that red just kind of fit now with the boldness of the colour and the record is even more out there and darker. Like ‘I Am King‘ is dark but this is a whole other level and we felt that fit.

Out of all the tracks in your discography, which ones would you say are your favourites and why?

Like all of our songs? I don’t know, thats really tough but right now we just wrote this record and I feel that all those songs are better than any other song we’ve ever written, so all the songs on ‘Forever

What were your first shows like as a band in comparison to now?

Very different. Like it’s a slow build and there will be random shows here and there that are just crazy but it’s been awesome recently, especially when ‘Forever‘ came out we did our first full US tour in America.

Is there a show that you’ve played where you felt like the band has legs/a show where you felt like you’ve made it as a band?

I mean, its hard to describe. I mean you can have an amazing show and then have a horrible show the next day and we’re so used to the ups and downs of that, that we try and look more at the overall picture and questions like ‘Is our band getting better?‘ and personally ‘are we getting better?‘. You can only really know that yourself, you can’t really tell from the crowd. We’re used to playing shows to people who don’t care or to people we need to make them care, so it’s kind of just on us really.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in yourself growing in the band and personally?

Just trying to be a bigger and more diverse music fan, getting new influences and not not listening to music. You have to have your ears open to things and spend actual time listening to music and finding new cool ideas and new influences as well as just staying with it.

How do you overcome the stigma around your band with the type of violence that happens at your shows?

People are going to say whatever. Sometimes it’s true and things can get out of hand but that happens at all types of shows, we’re not the only band that has that. It’s a whole community and scene that’s been around for years and there’s going to be people who don’t fully understand it and I can’t really fault them for that. It is what it is and you just gotta hope nothing gets out of control.

Has there ever been a moment in your bands career that you have been discriminated because of your gender?

No, I mean there’s stuff in life, being a woman, but it’s not like it is isolated to hardcore or this kind of music. Thats just life, that’s just world we live in. I have friends who will always get my back so I’m not worried about it in any kind of real way. I’m sure there’s people in the world who have to be a lot more worried than I do.

What advice would you give to aspiring female artists who have doubts about it due to the type of discrimination that might happen to them?

Just do your thing. There’s reasons to have worries, I understand that, but as long as you’re confident and you put yourself out there as being confident then you’re a lot less open to attacks.

If there is one thing you would like to change in the music scene you’re in, what would it be?

I just wish that there were more real bands and that more real bands were given a chance. There’s a lot of bands that work really hard that don’t get given the light of day and there’s a lot of bands who just slap songs together that are what people want to hear now, supposedly. I definitely wish there was a lot less ‘easy listening’ that was given those resources and those resources were given to bands who work hard.

Is there any bands on your radar that you feel people should check out?

Yeah, this band Eternal Sleep from Pittsburgh, they’re awesome. A lot of Closed Casket Activities bands on that label such as Incendiary. There’s a young band called Vein from Massachusetts. A lot of different kinds of bands, small or big. Full of Hell, they’re an amazing up and coming metal band.

What are the plans for Code Orange in 2017?

Touring. We’re going back to the US to tour with Killswitch Engage and Anthrax which is right after this, then we come back here to do some festivals and shows and I am sure there will be some more tours soon!

Any final words?

Thanks for listening to us!

Gojira, Code Orange & Car Bomb – 02 Academy Leeds – 16/3/17

Gojira & Guests – Live @ O2 Academy Bristol (18/3/17)

The metalheads are out in full force tonight as the French powerhouses Gojira took over the Academy venue alongside another technical mathcore veteran and one of the heaviest upcoming bands of this decade. With this being their last date of their UK part of the EU tour, its time to see how they send themselves off in this part of the world.

Opening up first were mathcore/technica metal juggernauts Car Bomb (8) who, with the room already near enough at full capacity, were here to confuse and blow away the crowd right out of the gate. Coming right out of the gate with ‘Best Intentions’ which showcases the bands older material which is full of destructive and mechanical sounds that have quite a few people in the crowd looking in disbelief and perplexed in some parts of their set. As they proceed to current album material such as ‘Black Blood’ and ‘Gratitude’ which show off the crazy versatility that the band has on offer with them, as well as their closer ‘Secrets Within’ which only heightens the intrigue that surrounded them in the first place. They made plenty of new fans at by the end of the set, had won a lot of critics over.

When you saw that Code Orange (10) were going to be support, it was hard to see how well received a band more known for hardcore/beatdown shows would be at a more metal showing, but the band absolutely showed the world why they are one of the most talked about groups of recent years. Coming straight into destruction mode with ‘Forever’, the band throw themselves about like rag dolls and the crowd follow suit with the moshpits coming into fruition. The band then proceed to give you an onslaught of sound with tracks like ‘I Am King’, ‘My World’ and ‘Kill The Creator’ just bringing the best out of everyone in the room. The whole planning of their set gave you areas of breath with the more slower pacing of tracks such as ‘Bleeding In The Blur’ showing off Reba Meyers powerful clean vocals and accentuating the bands versatility. This 10 song set proved to Bristol that these guys are one of the best bands at what they do and that it doesn’t matter what genre you are, you always have the power to transfix the crowd, and that is what they did for the entirety of their set.

It was hard to see how Gojira (9) were going to be able to follow that, but they pulled it out of the bag with full force. With their latest album ‘Magma’ being the forefront of this bands tour, it was safe to say that a majority of the set was going to be songs from this record. Opening with ‘Only Pain’, the band pounded through the song and set the wheels in motion for the rest of their set. The back screen helped provide a nice discography pleasing set and showed a off a great live experience that the band provided on all their aspects. Tracks such as ‘L’Enfant Sauvage’ and ‘Toxic Garbage Island’ gave you other showing of the band that they were able to bring with the projector adding a certain mood towards each track, heightening its experience. The band came on for a 2 song encore, which was proceeded by a guitar solo, that helped solidify them as one of the more enjoyable and unique bands in their field and will only just push them further into the stratosphere due to their craft and ability to capture the fans attention.