June 08, 2010 - Artery
Malevolence's back cover bears a remarkable resemblance to the front cover of Judas Priest's Sin After Sin. Also worth noting: The title of I Declare War's new album is just one letter off from "Male Violence." These two seemingly unconnected factoids kinda tell you what to expect once you press play. These Seattle boys play deathcore so grinding and abusive it makes Whitechapel sound like the Darkness. Jonathan Huber's vocals are utterly incomprehensible, vacillating between the grunts of a pig the size of a grain silo and the growls of a bear big enough to kill and eat that pig. Track titles like "New Age Holocaust," "Extermination Process" and "Purification Of The Population" allow the listener to make an educated guess as to what he's on about, though. The drums are so heavily triggered it could be argued Ryan Cox shouldn't even get a credit, but hey, whatever. Chris Fugate and Evan Hughes mix chainsaw-grinding-on-concrete guitar riffs with occasional bursts of real ugliness. There is a bassist, and his name is Brent Eaton, but he doesn't really leap out of the ultra-compressed, loud-as-hell wall of sound that passes for a mix here. These guys are to deathcore what Judge were to mid-'80s New York hardcore: a big, ugly animal intent on destruction. Five years in, they know exactly what they're doing and they do it without hesitation or mercy.