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.

Ex People – Bird [REVIEW]

Mixing the components of stoner and sludge seem on the surface like a match made in heaven, so when Ex People had been releasing tracks combining both genres, it would definitely have a long lasting effect of the fans and with tracks coming one by one off their upcoming release ‘Bird’, the wait is just being more anxious.

The album opens up with ‘Not A Drill’ which gives you an early perspective into the bands sound and musical structure. The lead vocals add a solemn, yet dreamy aspect to the tracks with the booming low tones of the guitar/bass punching its way through to give you a new insight into what to expect from the rest of the record as it moves into ‘Without’ and the bass tone makes more of a presence with its grumbling groove and slow paced riff action that it puts its inspirations more on highlight as well as the vocals having even more of an impact that it did on the previous song. The band are hitting what they need to, but they pick up the pace a little bit more with the track ‘Over’ and give you another entity the the band are able to provide to you with more aggressive tones with the majesty of the singing voice over the top providing the bands own little dark and light blends which no doubt help the band’s momentum moving into the rest of the record.

The band are here pushing more of their sound that they know and they are able to throw other things inside as well. Tracks like ‘You Creep’ invokes a more higher toned melody whilst keeping in that simplistic melody structure that you’ve heard already. The vocals are the biggest enjoyable quality of the record because they stand out so much more due to the overall production. Songs such as ‘Dread’ and ‘Complainer’ help bring the point across, with the latter of the two being more poignant with the tones in the instrumentation with the guitar and bass tones rumbling through nicely. The album closes on the dark and mysterious ‘Crested’ with its 8 minute way of showing you the band are here to make a statement. It’s a track that, played live, would surround you in many sonic waves with the punches that comes through and for the first time, overshadow the vocals with the tonal anger that seems to come through for the entirety of the song.

Overall, this album is a great release for those who love bands such as Electric Wizard and Melvins and need something extra to fill that void. Whilst people who stumble across this record might not see the bigger picture of the record, this band are doing everything they can to give you a slice of stoner and sludge to create a very interesting mark on their career as a band.

 

[8/10]

Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard announce UK tour with Ohhms

Coming from Wales to bring that disgustingly heavy sludge metal sound, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard are going to be embarking on a UK headliner this February bringing their distinctive doom-y sound alongside Ohhms. You can check out the dates below as well as a listen to their track ‘Les Paradis Artificiels‘.

Thursday, 9th February, Clwb Ifor Bach – Cardiff*
Saturday, 11th February, The Phoenix – Coventry
 Sunday,12th February, The Sanctuary –  Basingstoke
Monday, 13th February, The Cellar –  Oxford
Tuesday, 14th February, The Northumberland Arms – Newcastle*
Wednesday, 15th February, The Stag & Hounds – Bristol
Thursday, 16th February, The Anvil – Bournemouth
Friday, 17th February, The Scene Club – Swansea
Saturday, 18th February, Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar – Brighton