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.

Blood Youth release show beyond repair

Interview: Blood Youth – Beyond Repair Release Show 10/4/17

On their trip down to the capital to celebrate the release of their debut album Beyond Repair, we caught up with Blood Youth frontman Kaya Tarsus (and briefly the other two) to talk recording the album, touring with While She Sleeps and dislocated knees…

How are you doing?
Kaya: Cool actually thanks, a little tired. Yesterday was really intense because the show got called off… We had three songs left of the set – the three bangers left – and all of a sudden we finish playing a song and there’s just this hysteria at this absolutely ram-packed show. It was nuts. Everyone was looking really worried and crazy, and it turns out that some guy had dislocated his knee which we didn’t know at the time. Everyone was just signalling that he’d broken his leg or something. Our tech came onstage and said to us “let’s just go into the dressing room and let them sort it out” so they put all the house lights on, and [the injured fan] was just getting seen to so we just decided to call it there. It didn’t make sense to say “we’ll play after this is done” – we had to let the paramedics have as much time as they wanted. There was an announcement that the show was over and everyone was really cool about it, they got it. [The injured] was actually in really good spirits about it all, and I gave him a hug getting into the ambulance and apologised. I felt so bad but he was really cool about everything too. I saw him tweet today [Monday] that he’s off to Parkway Drive later so he’s obviously okay now [laughs].

Back in September you mentioned having parts of the album sorted but it seemed to come together quickly. How did that come about?
Kaya: Straight after that tour, we thought we definitely had to finish recording the album in 2016. We had the While She Sleeps tour following Closure tour, but we got in the studio pretty much straight away when we got back. Chris (Pritchard, guitars) and Sam (Hallett, drums) went into the studio and recorded all the music then about two weeks later I recorded all the vocal stuff. I recorded it all with our sound guy Robin who is one of my best mates so it was really cool but pretty intense. Chris was going through some pretty tough times personally and the fact you can hear that emotion, all those sounds we left in there, was really intense for him. Beyond Repair speaks to all of us but for him especially it is a real marker of how he was going through some seriously bad stuff. It was really easy though, really smooth and we just got on with it, then it was released Friday.

How was it doing European dates with While She Sleeps?
Kaya: Well, we’ve done some with Architects before, but I think it was our first time out there apart from that.
Sam: Yeah, it was our first trip out there. We didn’t do any “one-offs” because we did [German festival] Destruction Derby around that time.
Kaya: It was. The Sleeps tour was great though, we knew they were going to be great guys because they live really close to us. The first show was in Paris and we went direct there, and they hugged us meeting us for the first time. I used to listen to them literally all the time when I was going to school, on the bus and everything. Loz [Taylor, WSS frontman] asked me to do Crows with him which I did nearly every night, and doing that was just mad. We would just talk and sit with them, it was always that moment where I thought “I really really listened to you guys, I was such a huge fan”. Obviously I didn’t say that but… [laughs]. It was kinda weird in a way. The best show on that tour was in Madrid which was a sold-out show on my birthday. It was the loudest, rowdiest crowd we’d ever played to. We were playing places like Serbia too, and Romania, there were people there that knew the words to our songs. Playing in Serbia, people were singing Closure back to us. We were all looking at each other like “what is this…?”. It was honestly amazing to experience.

How do you think the band has grown then?
Kaya: That’s a tough one. I still consider us a baby band even though we’ve been going two years. People are still finding us, plus the album, touring with people like [While SheSleeps and everything like that. I feel like we get more pro every tour, every single show. We know how to act onstage now, how to talk to people. Every show is a learning process and that means we’re still growing every show.

What was the rationale behind the three release shows as opposed to a Beyond Repair tour?
Kaya: We just wanted it to be a bit special. We only did our last UK tour in September so we decided to do three exclusive shows coming down the country. We’ve never been a band who’s toured for the sake of touring, we’ve turned down plenty of tours because our question is “would that help us at this stage?” and any doubts mean we don’t go. Everything is really carefully planned out.

What would you say is the show you’re most looking forward to in 2017?
Kaya: Of the ones that are announced, probably Download. It’s quite a “big boy” stage, plus it’s nearly exactly two years on from when we did Download for the first time. We had no songs out then but now we have the three releases with Beyond Repair, so it’ll be good to see what the turnout and reaction will be like. We’re the type of band that don’t bank on anyone turning up and just assume nobody cares!

What’s your album of the year so far?
Kaya: I’ve been listening to the new Mastodon one [Emperor of Sand] so maybe that. The Code Orange one is cool as well and honestly Stormzy‘s new album is good. Really, really good. Erm… Yeah, I’ll stick with those three. I can never ever choose just one when people ask me. I really like the new Emmure album as well. Oh, and Beyond Repair.

Have you had any discoveries of other bands or artists to listen to or tour with?
Kaya: I’m really really into LANY at the moment. I’ve fallen in love with blink-182 recently, been listening to them a lot. I watched a documentary Tom DeLonge did speaking about how he wrote certain songs driving around California saying “I did this here and this there” and started listening to them thinking “oh these songs are so good”. Nobody really new exactly, just a lot of LANY. Kinda sunshine happy stuff.

Last question: what would be in a Blood Youth cocktail?
Kaya: For me, has to be whiskey. Really like whiskey… Diet Coke too, but Chris would have to put Jager in it.
Chris: I want to get on that Black Tooth Grin vibe, the Pantera one. Crown Royal whiskey, Seagrams 7 and Coke.
Kaya: Yeah, that…
Sam: I’d probably go with some gin-based thing. Little dash of Sprite maybe.
Kaya: Basically the grossest drink you will ever have. It would get you pumped up and make you feel pretty good though.
Sam: Ready to make some waves…
Kaya: Yeah it would be called Making Waves.

As always, huge thanks to Blood Youth for taking time out to talk to us yet again. The debut album Beyond Repair is out now on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and physical media.