Steel City has been churning out metal long since Sheffield’s main export was steelware. Malevolence carry the torch on, bridging the gap between extreme metal, and 90s-esque metal, drawing a lot of influence for new record ‘Self Supremacy’ from thrash and groove metal.
The record’s eponymous cut shows off Malevolence‘s talent at weaving their extreme sound with older styles of metal from the album’s outset. Many of the elements present in the track manifest in many other tracks at times, intricate guitar and drum work, and plenty of thrash and groove metal elements, with the vocals of Alex Taylor holding a real throwback feel. Yet, the band work these older elements in whilst keeping the grit and production of heavier, modern metal.
‘Wasted Breath’ achieves a similar feat, yet having an entirely different feel to it at the exact same time. Whilst the vocals are very similar in sound on the ‘clean’ segments of the track, the song is far slower and far more rhythm driven, and has a far heavier feel to it all together.
‘Spineless’ comes in as one of the strongest tracks on what is definitely one of metal’s strongest releases so far this year. Straight in with a bouncy, groovy riff chugging over fast-paced drumming, this is sure to go down a treat live, with moodier and slower instrumentals under the clean vocals on the chorus before the verses come back in to resume chaos. The song has everything the album has to offer; multiple breakdowns, deft exhibition of instrumental skill, and a superb showcase of the album’s influences, with the song closing out on a slow and heavy breakdown with a roar of “MLVLTD” over the top.
The only real break from the album’s heavy onslaught comes in the form of ‘4AM On West Street’, a sinister and haunting instrumental track lead by acoustic guitars, ending in an audio sample from ‘The Wire’ before blending into the next track.
Malevolence have released a brilliant showcase of modern metal, meeting influences from older renditions of the genre, and have shown that older styles of metal can be adapted to suit a modern sound and revive elements of the genre itself. ‘Self Supremacy’ is going be difficult to top for the rest of the year’s metal releases.
Written by Dec Sherry (@decxsherry)