Malevolent Creation

The 13th Beast

Written by: RUB on 28/01/2019 10:44:16

Fort Lauderdale, FL-based death metal veterans Malevolent Creation are back at it with their 13th full-length album, which, according to their own bold words in the title, is a beast. The record’s coming to be is a pleasant surprise, as the fate of the band was left in question after longtime vocalist Brett Hoffmann quit the band in 2016, and even more so when he sadly passed away of colon cancer last year. After Hoffmann’s exit, the sole original member, guitarist Phil Fasciana, however decided to gather new troops, and the fresh line-up has now put together a new LP for savouring by the death metal hordes.

Not much has changed in the sound department, it would seem. “The 13th Beast” is still very much death metal by the book; fast, blistering and extremely gritty and dirty. The group leaves little to the imagination with their no-bullshit, take-no-prisoners approach to writing music, and I am therefore quite certain that any Malevolent Creation-fan will find plenty to like about this album. The new frontman, Lee Wollenschlaeger on vocals and guitar, does a fine job sounding as raw and gritty as one would expect from this band, and with tracks like “Mandatory Butchery” and “Agony for the Chosen”, the record is off to a great start. The production is noticeably crisp and although there is little out of the ordinary about those two songs, they still sound like this incarnation of the band has played together for years. It is on “Canvas of Flesh” — a very colourful title by the way — that we witness Malevolent’ anno 2019 at their best though. The drums pound away beneath an eerie guitar riff, setting this moshpit monster off, and rarely resting in order to ensure that many a neck will be sore when the track is aired live. “Canvas of Flesh” is by no means the only track capable of sparking massive circle- and moshpits, however. “Decimated” is equally brutal and fast, with only a couple of breakdowns easing the tempo, and while there is nothing extraordinary about this track either, I cannot help but nod along to the groove of the drums as I distill my thoughts into the words of this review.

And that is basically the gist of the album: rock solid death metal played the old school way. I wouldn’t colour myself surprised by the sheer force and brutality Malevolent Creation showcases on “The 13th Beast”, given that they have been around for ages and issued some fantastic albums in their time. A sad tendency marring artists this old is that they tend to either put out the same lukewarm, mediocre record that even diehard fans are likely to forget about a few weeks later time and time again (as evidenced by the recent output from Cannibal Corpse, for instance), or try to reinvent themselves with a completely new approach sound-wise, alienating those same fans (like Morbid Angel did with 2011’s “Illud Divinum Insanus”). But there is also a third way: staying consistent and refraining from trying to fix what ain’t broken. It is fortunately in the latter category that Malevolent Creation’s newest offering falls; there is nothing groundbreaking or spectacular about it and it is unlikely to find its way onto any top-of-the-year lists. But it is a very decent piece of death metal, one which the band should be proud to have their names on. At the very least, it lives up to its extreme title.


Download: Canvas of Flesh, Mandatory Butchery, Born of Pain, Decimated, Trapped Inside
For the fans of: Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, Hate Eternal, Morbid Angel, Obituary, Suffocation
Listen: Facebook

Release date 18.01.2019
Century Media

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