Released: 2013, Carbon Medien Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
After a lengthy absence, Portuguese extreme metallers Malevolence have returned to the scene with a vengeance, in the form of their third full length release, ANTITHETICAL. The album’s already been the subject of some shining reviews in the European press, and rightfully so. Sounding like the bastard spawn of Dimmu Borgir, Soilwork, and Meshuggah, ANTITHETICAL cranks a vicious blend of progressive minded gothic death metal that sounds better through your speakers than it does in print.
ANTITHETICAL succeeds in harnessing what we love the most about the aforementioned genres and artists, makes it their own, and spits out seven tracks of complex and charismatic metal that hits all of the sweet spots that fans hope for. Each of the tunes juggle a barrage of atonal, hyperspeed riffs that maneuver through different time signatures and arrangements, amidst a backdrop of electronic and ambient synth work, but the energy exuded in each track helps to prevent the formula from getting stale. Ranging from outright pissed off (“Slithering”) to psychotropic mind bending (“Devoured Unlimited”) to shape shifting between order and chaos (“Exocortex Momentum”), Malevolence sound like a band determined and on a mission to destroy. The performances never get particularly flashy, but each instrument is deployed with machine like discipline to execute its role in the fracas, with the end result sounding tremendously powerful.
If you’re feeling the pangs of end of year album withdrawal, Malevolence have the cure for what ails you with ANTITHETICAL. It’s a genuinely heavy album that should demonstrate plenty of cross genre appeal, and which is available now through Carbon Median Records. Check out the Malevolence Facebook page for samples and purchase links, you’ll be glad you did.