Malevolent Creation Retribution (1992)

Malevolent Creation have never reached the relative popularity of their Floridian peers, and neither have they received the same degree of recognition. The band members moved from New York in order to follow their dreams of metal stardom, yet they never saw even a quarter of the admiration that Cannibal Corpse and their brand of deficient death metal received. For a short while Malevolent Creation were a band displayed unlimited potential within their percussive style combined with primitive caveman-esque melodies, but they never reached the summits of Deicide, Morbid Angel, Obituary and Monstrosity. The band would eventually fade away due to constantly changing members, drug related stories and the inability to build upon previous works.
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Malevolent Creation Seeks New Vocalist

Malevolent Creation are seeking a new vocalist on their Funbook page. The band has apparently fired Bret Hoffman. If you can do Malevolent Creation style vocals and are desperate to be in a known death metal band to validate your metal credentials as you have you low-self esteem, you should contact Phil Fasciana. Otherwise just contact him if you have a better growl than Dave Ingram and want to play shows despite lacking musicianship.

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Malevolent Creation and Incantation October Tour

malevolent creation incantation frederick

According to Incantation‘s website, the gig in Frederick, Maryland is not a one off date as originally stated: the band is embarking on a national tour with Malevolent Creation in October. The dates are:

10/06 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
10/07 – Raleigh, NC – The Maywood
10/08 – Virginia Beach, VA – Shaka’s
10/09 – Frederick, MD – Cafe 611
10/10 – Philadelphia, PA – Kunf Fu Necktie
10/12 – Brooklyn, NY – Black Bear Bar
10/13 – Clifton, NJ – Dingbatz
10/14 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium
10/15 – Rochester, NY – Montage Music Hall
10/16 – Kent, OH – The Outpost
10/18 – Indianapolis, IN – The Headquarters
10/19 – Chicago, IL – Reggies
10/20 – Kansas City, MO – The Riot Room
10/21 – Oklahoma City, OK – Thunder Alley
10/22 – Austin, TX – Empire Garage
10/23 – Fort Worth, TX – The Rail Club
10/25 – Houston, TX – BFE Rock Club
10/26 – New Orleans, LA – Sibera

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Demolition Hammer reunites

demolition hammer epidemic is reborn

Demolition Hammer have apparently reunited according to the group’s Facebook page. The brutal New York speed metal band last released notable material almost a quarter century ago with the hammering death/speed hybrid Epidemic of ViolenceAlex Marquez of fellow death speedsters Solstice (and Malevolent Creation’s Retribution) is taking over the drum stool from the deceased Vinny DazeWhether any touring or quality material rises from this reunion remains to be seen.

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Malevolent Creation – Dead Man’s Path (2015)

Malevolent Creation - Dead Man's Path (2015)

Malevolent Creation has been in my listening backlog for many, many years on the strength of a few tracks from Retribution. I never got to them, because I was constantly distracted by trendier bands (brands). When I first acquired Dead Man’s Path, I theorized that since the band’s been around for nearly 30 years and retains some of its original members, this was not going to be a major stylistic departure from those past works lest long-time fans abandon them in droves. The flipside of this, as evidenced by my experience with similar types of recent releases such as Repentless, is that I expected that regardless of the final quality, I expected a streamlined version of MC’s past style.

My listening throws this into question. Malevolent Creation’s early works tended towards the ancestral end of death metal, with obvious speed/thrash metal roots poking out of an otherwise standard monophonic, dissonant approach. Dead Man’s Path recalls something of this, but as predicted, it turned out more conventionally musical, with more consonant melody and a denser production (out with Scott Burns and in with Dan Swanö). Add in a somber march of an intro, and a renewed emphasis on vocal patterns, and you have a release that has definitely streamlined itself. It doesn’t rock the boat much, and it does still pass the aesthetic litmus tests that define death metal, but the production and packaging isn’t particularly interesting to write about beyond its most basic qualities.

Unlike most of the bands that take this approach, however, Malevolent Creation does a good job of applying their musical practice to write better songs. To my understanding, they were never a particularly complex act, and most of these songs rely at least in part on obvious verses and choruses. However, good use of tempo and rhythm shifts in particular keep things from getting too skull-crushingly obvious and predictable. The band members also showcase enough compositional awareness to move integral song elements around between tracks to obfuscate the formulas a bit. I would personally have liked to hear more variation in riff styles, as some of the songs here (“Corporate Weaponry” in particular) suggest that such could be successfully incorporated while retaining the strong points of the band’s approach. That, however, is a small flaw in an otherwise very solid package.

To be fair, I was not expecting the strengths of Dead Man’s Path to be so covert, but they are the sort of elements that take some time to properly dissect and understand. However, this makes it a more valuable and perhaps integral work than most of what passes through the review queue here.

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Gruesome releases new lyric video

Savageland

Releasing Savage Land in April of 2015, Gruesome have released a new lyric video. Gruesome boasts band members who have previously been part of Exhumed, Malevolent Creation, Possessed, and Derketa and is said by some to play a style that “honors” Chuck Schuldiner’s work. This is partially true as Gruesome played a dumbed-down death metal consisting of simple, groovy rhythms played single-string riffs and intermittent sections of faster and slower d-beats. But I would venture to say that Gruesome’s songwriting is definitely superior to pre-Human Death (post-Human Death being a different kind of music, and belongs to a slightly different discussion).

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