Review Summary: Malevolent Creation's debut stands as one of the stronger albums in the old school death metal crowd, featuring effective riffs and songs that make it an early classic.
Malevolent Creation is a well recognized but generally somewhat ignored death metal band, which might be down to the quick decline in quality of their albums following their 1992 classic Retribution
, with the poorly produced but overall solid Stillborn
giving way for the unexceptional Eternal
, In Cold Blood
and The Fine Art Of Murder
albums, which were solid but indistinct and not particularly memorable. Following the slightly more interesting The Will To Kill
the band quickly spiraled into several mediocre albums. Luckily, the band's first 2 albums, The Ten Commandments
and the aforementioned Retribution are far superior, and the former delivers thrashy death metal beyond the capabilities of most bands.
The Ten Commandments is instrumentally solid but not exceptional. The guitar work is technical and tight, executing fairly intricate riffs with ease, while the drumming is equally proficient, with solid double bass patterns throughout while avoiding the popular blast beat throughout the majority of its duration, which may make it somewhat more refreshing than most death metal albums in that respect. The bass isn't exceptional but is audible and provides an effective backdrop for the other instruments. One of the better features of the album are the vocals, which provide mid range growls which sound constantly aggressive and edgy, partially resembling a thrash shout but with a slightly more guttural feel.
After the slow instrumental opener Memorial Arrangements
, which is better than most death metal album openers overall, the album kicks strait into gear with the excellent Premature Burial
, which possesses an excellent set of riffs while the reasonably high tempo gives it a driving feel, which makes it one of the most enjoyable tracks on the album. Likewise, Multiple Stab Wounds
wastes no time, delving into a blistering series of riffs before slowing down into a crushing groove. Impaled Existence
is one of the more technical tracks on the album, which works well for it as it dives into dizzying and violent riffs. Sacrificial Annihilation
speeds ahead from the get go, and while the tempo varies it's consistently brutal and one of the album's highlights. Decadence Within
provides more of the same but with the same consistent quality of the other tracks.
And that might well be the main problem with the album. The song structures are so consistently similar that it becomes duller near the end of the album (though it's still great stuff). Aside from that, there are virtually no weaknesses here. Perhaps some may be turned off slightly by the thrashy nature of the riffs that aren't always quite in line with the death metal norm, but they are just as effective. Despite the strengths of the album however it doesn't quite match up with Retribution
which was just generally a more focused and riffier album, but The Ten Commandments
is an excellent example of high quality death metal.
Multiple Stab Wounds