During the earlier days of death metal, before the sound of the scene became more uniform and less inventive, there were bands who did sound largely different from each other. Enter: Malevolent Creation. Although originally from Buffalo, NY the band wisely decided to relocate to the Ft. Lauderdale area. Malevolent Creation did occupy a lower tier on the Florida death metal radar, but their first two albums weathered time far better than quite a bit of their competition at the time and had a few tricks the other bands didn’t have. The first thing that is striking about MC is that Brett Hoffmann’s vocals are perfectly intelligible unlike most death/grind vocalists who make it a point of not being understood. As a plus, Hoffmann sounds incredibly convincing and that only adds to the aura of the music! One of the few death metal vocalists I could actually say I like in his own possessed sounding throaty mid-range style. The Phil Fasciana (more so than) Jeff Juszkiewicz guitar-team comes up with some pretty cool licks that are played at varying speeds and techniques. Something you don’t find often enough in death metal. Jason Blachowicz’s bass performance isn’t the most stunning (some cool slides on “Thou Shall Kill!”), but it is thoroughly audible thru the entire production and helps round out the bottom end of the production. Mark Simpson’s drum performance is nice because he doesn’t constantly play everything on top of each other. In other words, he uses space quite well and has the ability to change-up and offer alternate tempos or same-tempo-different-drum-patterns at the drop of a hat.
What makes the album even better is that all the band members know their own limitations and they keep things interesting through inventive yet simple song writing. Everyone knows their place here and doesn’t try to offer more or less. This is one of those metal albums that is great as an album. It’s not great for any particular song (with the possible exception of “Thou Shall Kill!”), but remains great as a whole. It’s one of the few death metal albums I’ll listen to from beginning to end without skipping tracks.