Listening party: MALEVOLENT CREATION – Dead Man’s Path
Vi avslutter våre listening parties med en skikkelig brutal godbit fra det amerikanske death metal bandet MALEVOLENT CREATION. Bandets 12. album har fått tittelen "Dead Man’s Path" og inneholder ti raske brutale death metal låter i kjent MALEVOLENT CREATION stil. Skiva slippes 2. oktober og vi spiller den i sin helhet oppe i Sky Lounge på Scandic Lerkendal lørdag 3. oktober fra klokken 15:30.
Time flies fast and deals cruel hand. For death metal legends MALEVOLENT CREATION, however, Father Time is weak and feeble, his scythe a cane and his hourglass long broken. To wit: it’s been 24 years since "The Ten Commandments" shocked media outlets and found wide-spread acceptance in death metal’s ardent fanbase. Since then, the Floridians never gave in. Not to waning interest in the genre, not to black metal’s near-takeover of extreme metal, not to nü-metal’s commercial viability. No prevailing force – supernatural or otherwise – has diminished MALEVOLENT CREATION’s aggressive spirit and inexhaustible fire. Certainly, the three original members – guitarist Phil Fasciana, vocalist Bret Hoffmannn, and bassist Jason Blachowicz – didn’t think they’d still be writing, recording, and touring in a band when they formed in Buffalo in 1987, but their tenacity and perseverance over the years has shown dedication to the art of death. And all that comes with it.
"We’re meaner!" grins Fasciana wildly. "More pissed off and heavier than ever! This is a lot of years of aggression built up. This is Malevolent Creation 2015 not Malevolent Creation 1990! 2015 also brings a lot of new changes for Malevolent Creation."
Change is, in fact, in the air. Not only have MALEVOLENT CREATION jumped over to Century Media Records after a three-album stint with Nuclear Blast Records, but former drummer Justin DiPinto also returns to the fold. The last time they crossed paths with DiPinto was on 2002’s barnstorming "The Will to Kill" effort. And last but certainly not least, MALEVOLENT CREATION have a new album, "Dead Man’s Path", on offer.
"We are very happy to be working with Century Media," Fasciana says. "It finally seems like we are working with a professional record company that has faith in us and is working hard to help us move forward. We are also working with new agents for different territories around the world, so we can stay busy touring and get to some countries we have not played yet or need to get back to. And the best part of Malevolent Creation 2015 is the return of former drummer Justin DiPinto. Our new album "Dead Man’s Path" came out better than expected and having Justin back in the band and around us really makes us a lot happier and more confident." Five years in the making, "Dead Man’s Path" demolishes the competition – veteran and newcomer alike – with 10 lethal blasts of aggressive death. According to Fasciana, there was no master plan with the group’s twelfth full-length. With no deadline or label pressure, the principle songwriters just let the music come naturally. Half of "Dead Man’s Path" was written prior to DiPinto joining. The other half was written in week after DiPinto drum position solidified. In fact, with the band in full force, the songs poured out. One explosive track after the other. But MALEVOLENT CREATION aren’t about double albums or long musical journeys. From "The Ten Commandments" to 2010’s "Invidious Dominion", they come in fast, make a quick kill, and get out while the blood’s still fresh. "Dead Man’s Path" is no different.
"Instead of listening back to hundreds of old riffs and ideas, we just used the music we put together in that rehearsal room between the three of us – DiPinto, (guitarist) Gio Geraca, and myself – and kept what was written in that first week of intense jamming and demo making. And I’m glad we did. And I’m also glad that we still have all the other music and ideas still on file and can record new material whenever is needed. Just good to know we still have it all and can go back and listen to the music we didn’t end up putting on this new album." From opening, theme-setting title track through "Face Your Fear", "Dead Man’s Path" is undoubtedly MALEVOLENT CREATION. In many respects, the group’s newest is also one of their best. "Dead Man’s Path" is part of a proud heritage of vicious excellence spread across many years – "The Ten Commandments", "Retribution", "Envenomed", and "Warkult", all untouchable stanchions of death the brutal way. Indeed, many bands have tried to copy Fasciana’s violent thrash-informed death, but none have come close. "Dead Man’s Path" creates a wider, deeper gulf between MALEVOLENT CREATION and their sycophants.
"As soon as the first song fucking starts makes me grin!" laughs Fasciana maniacally. "Because I know when people play this album they are in for one hell of a ride. I think this album has a little bit of everything we have covered over the last 25 years. We have never tried to reinvent the wheel or claimed to be the most brutal death metal band ever. We know what works for us and our limitations. We are very comfortable with the writing formula we have become accustomed to. We are simply trying to write good, heavy songs. I’m happy because we still have a lot of fast and speedy stuff going on and we were also able to pump the brakes when it felt right and write some slower and grinding music. There is definitely a good mix of aggression within the songs and none of them sound like the last. It’s a great running order as well."
Lyrically, "Dead Man’s Path" is commentary on our own brutal reality. Written by and through the lens of Hoffmann, the lyrics on MALEVOLENT CREATION’s newest reflect mankind’s relentless cruelty rather than valorize it. Songs like "Corporate Weaponry", "Extinction Personified", and "Blood Of The Fallen" aren’t of legend or folklore – no zombies or mythology here. Rather, they’re straight out of nightly newscasts or horrific stories from social media feeds. There’s also a personal side to Hoffmann’s cutthroat lines.
"Bret writes about reality," Fasciana says. "Whether it’s about himself or what’s happening in the world it’s always real. Bret’s lyrics may always have a theme throughout each song that deals with death in one way or another and it works for him and our music. I know he does write a bit about his own life experiences which are probably things that piss him off in this world and, again, it fits with the music perfectly. We never have to tell him what to write about or how to sing anything. We may have an idea or suggestion here and there but for the most part Bret just does his own thing."
On the first as well as the 100th listen, it sounds like a band revitalized, re-energized, and ready to ravage. "Dead Man’s Path" was produced by MALEVOLENT CREATION and Dan Swanö (Aeon, Bloodbath, Asphyx) with mixing duties also being handled by Dan Swanö. The team ensured songs like "Soul Razer", "Resistance Is Victory" or "Fragmental Sanity" are as punishing digitally as they are pumped through a stereo, something MALEVOLENT CREATION needed to stay vital in an ever-changing sonic landscape.
"Just like any album I want fans to be happy and love the music as much as we do," Fasciana admits. "We are fans of music and write music we want to hear. I know what we play isn’t for everyone and that is fine. But what I do know is that we are a bunch of metalheads from the ‘80s. We are what we are. We are not going to change. If people understand that, then great! You have to accept change these days even though it is different and difficult at times. At the end of the day we are still doing what we love. And that is playing punishing, relentless death metal."
Dead Man’s Path
Malevolent Creation are still doing what they do best, namely pouring out straight forward death metal, without any nonsense. 24 years since the debut album "The Ten Commandments" and 8 albums later, these Floridians still knows how to satisfy a simple souls craving for dark and brutal music. There are some changes from 2010 album "Invidious Dominion", the band have jumped over to Century Media Records after a three-album stint with Nuclear Blast, and former drummer Justin DiPinto has also returned to the fold. Other than that, its same procedure as last time around…
Which means punishing, relentless, fast and furious death metal played the death metal way, no prisoners will be taken here. When it comes to a band like Malevolent Creation its actually quite easy. Either you get it, or you dont. These guys dont change, they dont invent anything new, they will never wander of the path they have started walking so many years ago. These guys play the music they like, and as long as they do, I for one will continue listening and walk the dead man´s path…
Leif Neverdal/Eternal Terror
In my early tape trading years of the late 80’s and early 90’s, Florida’s Malevolent Creation are one of the bands that set the US death metal scene on fire. Their early albums "The Ten Commandments" and "Retribution" still stand well today for their aggression, intensity, and overall impact on the next generation of death metal musicians. Controversy and lineup changes have been a constant ever since – but before us we have "Dead Man’s Path", their 12th studio album and first in five years, and possibly a return to those strong early career benchmarks.
The band balance out speedy numbers with mid-tempo sections that can still pummel the airspace – the riffing and tenacious picking from Phil Fasciana and Gio Geraca highlighting "Blood of the Fallen" and the swooping follow up "Resistance Is Victory". The opening title track is an intriguing starter, as the quieter buildup is something one would expect maybe from Metallica, but oddly enough works as a dynamic mood mover because of the spoken word eeriness from Brett Hoffmann and doom-oriented chord choices. To those that miss a lot of their Slayer on steroid aspect to some of the wall of sound and thunderous drumming, check into "Soul Razer" for all your intense metal pleasures.
Brett’s rasp hasn’t lost any edge over the years – and as one of the elder’s vocalists in the business, also pays careful attention to be as clear as possible so that you can catch all the words in obliterating arrangements like "Imperium (Kill Force Rising)" and "Fragmental Sanity". Air drumming, head banging, hair windmills – Malevolent Creation musically are firing on all the right creative cylinders, making it hard to believe that 28 years have passed since their inception.
A lot of these songs will slot easily in future set lists. If you’ve lost sight of Malevolent Creation, "Dead Man’s Path" should be the restart point.
Matt Coe/Eternal Terror
"Enjoy listening to our 12th full length album "Dead Man’s Path" and take a ride through the Malevolent depths of hell with us for 10 songs of full on terror!! This is a very special album for us and i hope all Malevolent Creation fans will be as excited about this new album as we are and we are very proud to be still creating such brutal music for over 27 years now. Say no to slow!!!! And Keep On Grinding!!! Enjoy "Dead Man’s Path" Everyone!!! We will see you all on tour in 2015-2016 and 2017!!!! Lots of touring in the next few years!!!! Cheers!!!"
Phil Fasciana // Malevolent Creation
"Dead Man’s Path"
Release: 2. Oktober 2015
1. Dead Man’s Path 04:46
2. Soul Razer 04:08
3. Imperium (Kill Force Rising) 06:09
4. Corporate Weaponry 03:55
5. Blood of the Fallen 04:52
6. Resistance Is Victory 03:47
7. 12th Prophecy 04:14
8. Extinction Personified 04:10
9. Fragmental Sanity 04:08
10. Face Your Fear 04:24
"Dead Man’s Path"
Scandic Lerkendal – Sky Lounge