It’s time for the much anticipated return of Sheffield hard hitters Malevolence. Four years ago they released the riff fuelled Reign Of Suffering to a loyal and fierce fan base, myself included. Now it’s time for Self Supremacy to catapult the band head long into the ears of anyone who can handle it.
The album can riff for days! From the titular opening track to Low Life. Each song has a rampaging riff that buries its way into your head. From the thrashy bounce of Trial by Fire to the groove boasting Spineless to the hardcore drive of Outnumbered. The riffs just come so thick and fast that it is hard to not get fully involved with each song off Self Supremacy. I was stomping along, punch the air and wrenching my head back and forth with every new riff that was blasted forward.
But what makes Malevolence so heavy isn’t the riffs, although they help out a lot. No it is the brute force of the breakdowns. The down tempo slug at the end of Severed Ties is on par with some of the nastiest beatdown pit openers. It is like taking a bat to the face. Scratch that a bat with a nail… No scratch that a bat wrapped in barbed wire and riddled with nails. That kind of force is put behind each of these pit perfect breakdowns.
Mixed into the onslaught of riffage and wall shattering breakdown is the sheer aggression of the vocals. Malevolence go from your bog standard, never faltering mid screams to the sludgy likes of Slave to Satisfaction. A slow Pantera like intro leads into hardcore shouting that bounces atop the instruments for a blending of styles that keep things heavy and intense. Each lyric is hit with such scorn and disdain that they add another layer of ferocity to an already fierce sound.
One thing that didn’t really stick with me was the excessive guitar solos. Some of the impact was lost in the likes of Body Count where the solo just takes you out of the mosh and leaves you waiting for it to finish. However these solos didn’t take too much away from the album as a whole. I never found myself forced to skip one or zone out when they did shred their way into a song.
Self Supremacy is a gritty and harsh album. An album with a metal mind and a heart of hardcore. Malevolence have created an album that shines a light on everything I love about the modern heavy music scene. It is big on riffs, hard on breakdowns and vicious on vocals.