Released: 2010, Nuclear Blast
Malevolent Creation is the Rocky Balboa of death metal; perennial underdogs virtually from the off and as prone to explosive performance as they are dropping a right clanger. Indeed for the better part of two decades, the Floridians' only real consistency has been their inconsistency. This may sound harsh in the face of such stellar efforts as THE TEN COMMANDMENTS and THE WILL TO KILL, but it's telling to consider that the same band was also responsible for the throwaway mediocrity of WARKULT. What was supposed to be a comeback in 2007's DOOMSDAY X proved similarly underwhelming and where the presence of original vocalist, Brett Hoffman, all but formally guaranteed excellence, the record never really amounted to anything more than a mild fizzle.
With INVIDIOUS DOMINION, their eleventh full length, they've broken out the big guns, hitching their fortunes to this generation's Scott Burns - Erik Rutan - and the results, though not quite spectacular, are pretty damn listenable. For one thing, Rutan's keen observance of death metal's traditions means that he's able to extract a helluva lot out of what is fairly stock-standard riffing on "United Hate", and his influence is acutely noticeable on particularly the track's double-vocal chorus. His presence in the production booth may also go some way toward explaining the far more zealous deployment of blastbeats on the album, though Gus Rios – another in a long line of successors to original drummer, Mark Simpson's stool - may have a hand in that as well. Meanwhile the rest of the band, Hoffman especially, have never sounded nastier and it's kind of hard to believe that they've been at it quite as long as they have.
Then again, maybe it's not quite so hard to understand. In the grand scheme of things, Malevolent Creation's tenure alone dictated that this be a record where they either shit or get off the pot. And while that proverbial receptacle isn't exactly overflowing, they have certainly done enough to justify their existence for a while longer.