Malevolent Creation
Stillborn


3.0
good

Review

by Source USER (1 Reviews)
March 12th, 2018 | 12 replies


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A serviceable third effort from one Florida death metal's more overlooked bands, marred by awful production and some uninspired songwriting.

Malevolent Creation first made a name for themselves with the release of their debut album The Ten Commandments in 1991, a year which saw the release of Death’s Human, Suffocation’s Effigy of the Forgotten, and numerous other albums that are now considered to be landmarks of death metal. While The Ten Commandments may not be held in such high regard as other death metal albums released around that time, it is thought of by many as a minor classic in its own right. 1992 saw Malevolent Creation take the sound of their debut and refine it to lethal effect on their sophomore album Retribution. At this point in their career, with two very solid albums under their belt, Malevolent Creation were primed to be a staple among death metal fans for years to come.

The band released their third album Stillborn in 1993. Sporting intriguing cover art by Dan Seagrave, the album opens with an eerie sample taken from the classic 1986 sci-fi action movie Aliens. It is directly after this that the listener is jarringly made aware of Stillborn’s biggest issue: its production.

At the time of the album’s release, Malevolent Creation’s record label Roadrunner Records had a tendency to let some of the death metal bands on its roster fall by the wayside. One of the more well known examples of this is the botched production on Suffocation’s second album Breeding the Spawn which was, coincidentally, also released in 1993. While the actual musical content of Stillborn may not be as compelling as what can be heard on Breeding the Spawn, both are competent albums hampered by very poor production. Perhaps the biggest production flaw on Stillborn is frontman Brett Hoffman’s vocals. On Malevolent Creation’s first two albums, the production allowed Hoffman to deliver his signature bark with as much conviction as someone can possibly have when yelling and screaming about committing murder. That is not the case here. On Stillborn, it sounds as if Hoffman was asked to record his vocals while sitting in a garbage dumpster with the the lid closed...with his microphone set up OUTSIDE the dumpster. The rest of the band members don’t escape the album’s subpar production either. The instruments are all mixed extremely high, giving the listener’s ears practically no breathing room. Essentially, the album sounds like a wall of muddy sound. This begs the question of what Stillborn would have sounded like if it had been produced by Scott Burns, the legendary death metal producer who worked with Malevolent Creation on their first two albums.

Musically, Stillborn is standard old school death metal fare. The band’s signature style of alternating between groove-laden riffs and furious blasting is present throughout the album. This style is perhaps best represented in the closing song Disciple of Abhorrence. What really stands out when listening to this album is the apparent lack of evolution in the band’s sound. Whereas Retribution saw the band honing and perfecting the sound of their debut, Stillborn feels somewhat like a retread. The songwriting is not poor by any means, but most listeners would expect something more ambitious from a band releasing its third album than what is displayed here. The moments when Malevolent Creation play at tempos that are downright slow by their usual standards, specifically on the album highlight title track, add some variation to the chaos of the band’s sound.

Stillborn is a competent release by a band that tends to be forgotten amidst the heavyweights of old school death metal, particularly in the Florida death metal scene. It is certainly not a groundbreaking album for Malevolent Creation, and this lack of evolution in sound combined with the album’s terrible production keep it from being held in high regard like The Ten Commandments and Retribution. However, fans of old school death metal are sure to find some enjoyable moments throughout the album.


user ratings (96)
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3.2
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
bloc
March 12th 2018


49237 Comments


Been meaning to hear this again. I always loved the album cover too.

The band's first 2 albums are 2 of my all time favourite dm albums.

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Astral Abortis
March 12th 2018


5289 Comments


Album slayzzz

AdolfChrist
March 12th 2018


15752 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I remember the production being so fucking bad on this thing but i guess i should give it another chance.

Digging: Secede - Bye Bye Gridlock Traffic

Source
March 12th 2018


1783 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I was kind of surprised this didn't have a review, so i figured I'd try my hand at writing one. Feedback/criticism is appreciated.

AdolfChrist
March 12th 2018


15752 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

nvm, its not just the production that was the problem.

Astral Abortis
March 12th 2018


5289 Comments


yah its ur ears that are the problem

evilford
March 12th 2018


41749 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

shots fired



remember this being pre dull but haven't heard in years. first two MC are excellente

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Astral Abortis
March 12th 2018


5289 Comments


solos on this melt bones

evilford
March 12th 2018


41749 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

sounds m/ af

Astral Abortis
March 12th 2018


5289 Comments


tis

AdolfChrist
March 13th 2018


15752 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

idk, they melt cheese maybe.

TJPeisker
March 28th 2018


5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album! Love the solidness of this album.

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