Review Summary: Mainstream clout that appeals to the clout mainstream.
Remember back a couple of decades when mainstream metal was made to indiscriminately bang heads and rage about whatever hot topic agenda made its way onto the streets? Back when adding hardcore tenacity to metalcore would earn you street cred (lol). Faded ripped shirts from artists who’ve only three people have heard became the norm, as did a wave of beatdown trend-hopping that would ultimately lead Malevolence on a trajectory of no holds barred, riff-dominated, shout-y, testosterone-laden metal. For the UK based metallic bruisers, Malevolence, their brand of metal trims away the often bloated direction modern metal has steadily moved towards over the course of a decade. For now, Malicious Intent
will bring back some, if not all of the nostalgia of that era. When metal was simpler, straight-forward and all about that big ol’ live festival energy.
Still there are some comparisons to be made and while Malicious Intent
’s larger roots stem from the chugga-chugga beatdown of a riff-fueled metal society, touches of Hatebreed, Machine Head, Killswitch Engage and Lamb of God bleed into the soundscapes—groove so heavily invested into the very foundations of the opener and title track, “Still Waters Run Deep”, “Above All Else”, “Karma” and “Salvation”. Circling back slightly, Konan Hall’s shouts sound just a little too reminiscent of Hatebreed vocalist, Jamey Jasta. Thankfully, there’s a clean and heavy dichotomy that helps shelve an overabundance of sameness. Fairly, no one is expecting an outrageous display of metal innovation and Malicious Intent
sits squarely, safely in a world of meeting expectations.
And that’s the good and bad of the overall representation of the new record. Malicious Intent
isn’t mind-blowing, and the jaded musical community as it is won’t see past the fact that these riffs are well crafted, that the features are welcome breaths of fresh air, that the lyrics (see: “Karma”) are less than exciting (“eye for an eye…”) and that Malevolence, for all their clout has just released another stocking filler grade album just in time for the mid-year lists. Overall, Malicious Intent
is exactly what it needs to be; an octane fuelled romper with just enough variance to ensure its fans make it from “A” to “B”.