WORDS: JACK THORNE | PHOTO: KIM QUINT
The early 2010s were a thriving time for UK hardcore with legendary names such as Broken Teeth, Brutality Will Prevail and Breaking Point, to name a few, all putting out incredible releases. Among these names were Malevolence.
Since then their name being said almost instantly brings a riff to mind. The band, packed full of interesting and articulate music, released their spine crushing debut full-length in 2013. They have since gone onto release a second LP “Self-Supremacy” , with their upcoming EP “The Other Side” releasing through their own MLVLTD imprint.
However, it is their debut record “Reign of Suffering” that made them a household name in the UK over the last 7 years since its release. The influence of this band cannot be understated, especially since having toured across territories such as Japan and Australia; the lads from Sheffield really are leaving their mark on hardcore.
Building up to this release the band were already making waves, having released a two-track practice room demo and playing shows up and down the country. Malevolence were generating some serious buzz for what was to come.
“THE INFLUENCE OF THIS BAND CANNOT BE UNDERSTATED”
The album opens with the brutal “Face of Death” showing how an opening track should be, packed with brutal riffs and two steps topped off by mic grabbing lyrics allowing the band to showcase their abilities gripping the listener. Following this is another one of the many absolute face melting tracks ‘Condemned to Misery’ opening with a subtle guitar before dynamically shifting into a hard-hitting shred-fest of a song. ‘Serpents Chokehold’ is possibly the best known song with its powerful opening riff causing headbanging no matter where you are; this is also the first track on the album to use both vocalists, allowing for some real nostalgic Metallica-feel. This album also contains the 7-and-a-half-minute-long ‘Turn to Stone’ that showcases a completely different style, packed full of riffs and once again bringing that older thrash feel, but in a sludgy, almost ballad-like style.
Creating their own label with the Southampton beatdown band Desolated, the two groups are some of the most recognised in the UK. DIY is obviously still important to both these bands, with Malevolence forsaking any big company and choosing to self-release the upcoming EP through the label (and Desolated doing this with their last release). The bands have created a platform to distribute their music and merch all in one location. Additional MLVLTD members Rough Justice have also dropped their EP ‘Hell Is Other People’ via the label.
“THEY SET OUT TO DEFY GENRE BOUNDARIES BY HAVING THEIR OWN TAKE, WHILST REMAINING HARDCORE”
Sonically the 5 piece continue to evolve, having released ‘Self-Supremacy’ in 2017 after touring consistently since their previous release. This record was the perfect follow up, delving deeper into their obvious influences but still packing the record with crushing breakdowns. Now with their upcoming EP on the horizon having released two tracks ‘Keep Your Distance’ (featuring Knocked Loose’s Bryan Garris) and ‘Remain Unbeaten’, which have more of a metal feel than their earlier work (however not losing sight of their roots).
With more and more people getting into the scene everyday, this record has without a doubt become a gateway for some of the younger people playing in their first beatdown/hardcore bands. The nostalgic, thrashy feel of this record makes it easily accessible for kids whose relatives got them listening to “Reign in Blood “and “Vulgar Display of Power” from a young age.
Malevolence really created something special with “Reign of Suffering”, one of the most experimental and stand out UK hardcore records to this day. The impact it had will not be forgotten anytime soon. Standing out from other bands at the time with their heavily technical riffs, drawing influence from bands such as “Hatebreed” and “Crowbar” but still keeping that UK hardcore finish has blown them up massively. This record shows that they set out to defy any genre boundaries by having their own take whilst remaining hardcore and truly will stand the test of time.
Malevolence’s new EP ‘The Other Side’ is out April 24th through MLVLTD.