19th May 2017 – Kolony Records
01. Self Supremacy
02. Trial By Fire
03. Severed Ties (feat. Andrew Neufeld – Comeback Kid)
04. Wasted Breath (feat. Kevin – The Merciless Concept)
05. Body Count
06. 4AM On West Street
07. Slave To Satisfaction
09. True Colours
11. Low Life
Sheffield-based Malevolence burst onto the scene with 2013’s critically acclaimed debut record Reign Of Suffering and rightfully placed themselves as one of the most exciting new British bands around. Melding southern metal grooves with a ferocious hardcore attitude, and a superb live show to match. It was therefore a shame that the band almost disappeared from the hordes of fans who revered their arrival into the metal scene.
Fast forward four years and sophomore effort Self Supremacy looks to re-establish Malevolence at the forefront of people’s minds once again – and the early impressions are pretty good. Opening track “Self Supremacy” takes that aforementioned southern-style guitar, and a riff and stretches out over the opening minute before a visceral attack by vocalist Alex Taylor springboards the track into life. “Trial By Fire” continues this level of quality by combining a decent broken down section dripping with heaviness, complimented by harsh vocals and then warndering off into a sumptuous guitar solo.
“Severed Ties” is a seriously strong track, sounding like a competing hybrid of Hatebreed, Pantera and Lamb Of God all rolled up into one coherent form. This is frighteningly awesome. The chorus is a real Southern-tinged slow burner with a hint of melody within it with Andrew Neufeld’s (Comeback Kid) cameo appearance giving it a further dimension with his own barrage of intent.
The good news, as I’m sure you can tell so far, is that Self Supremacy maintains the high level of musicianship demonstrated on their debut record. The relentless pace, head-banging groove, ferocious vocals and drawn out Dimebag Darrel-esque melodies build on that very high standard. Whether it be the thrash attack of “Body Count” (check out those death metal blast beats), the doom-laden “Slave To Satisfaction“, which slows the pace right down with arguably the heaviest riff on the record, or “Spineless“, which evokes an almost upbeat feel thanks to the melodic guitar tone and Hatebreed-like breakdowns, this is outstanding.
One of the highlights on the album “True Colours” is a seven-minute journey through absolutely everything that this band have experimented with thus far, all put into one mixing pot. A sonic assault to the senses, there are some superbly melodic guitar solos encompassed within southern metal vocals, drawn out doom metal passages and even classic metal riffs that Iron Maiden would be proud of. The increased presence of guitarist Konan Hall’s more melodic vocals also adds a further dynamic to the sound of Malevolence, pushing them without compromising their style.
By the time that “Low Life” ends the record – with, yes you guessed it, a riff – the listener will no doubt be left with a sense of being smashed over the head repeatedly, albeit in a fun way.
With the band’s average age still in the early 20s, the potential for Malevolence to blow up and be absolutely massive is there for all to see and hear. Here’s hoping that they can kick on and tour this record as it deserves without falling back into the underground for another four years…