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Once again Malevolent Creation changed line-up for another effort. Fasciana still remains the leader in this band while we can find for the second time Jason Blachowicz at the vocals. By the way, the real deal is the newcomer behind the drums, Derek Roddy. Yes, that Derek Roddy who played in several death bands and that now we find here too. He does an excellent work on this new album even if Culross wasn’t an easy drummer to replace in terms of technique and speed, but we all know the goodness of the newcomer. He’s brutal and relentless like few others and his style is perfect for an album like In Cold Blood, where everything seems even faster.
Thirteen tracks for 40 minutes of music should be representative of the power and speed by this band. Many of the new tracks are bone and skin in the structures and this is symptomatic of an acquired violence. “Nocturnal Overload” and “Prophecy” display clearly what we are facing: brutal death metal with suffocated, extreme vocals. The drumming is various, technical and precise. What I really like here is the way Derek does the long rolls on the drums and the way he plays the bass one. The guitars lines are corrosive, low-tunes and nasty, while the prevalent technique is for the tremolo picking that is perfect for its burden of heaviness and darkness.
The production is a bit different from the previous Eternal album and everything sounds sharper. We can say that is a way between Eternal and the old albums. The vocals are preponderant here and they are really powerful in volumes, but the drums sound is always well audible as well as the guitars lines. The gun shots effects at the beginning of “Compulsive” are stuck in the guitars riffs and the up tempo parts are now the main style, with lots of fast bass drum restarts. I think that the only tracks that differ a bit here are the title track and “Preyed Upon”; the rest is on sheer fast brutality and features great drumming by Derek, in constant switch between the up tempo and the blast beats.
As I was saying, the title track shows some more “modern” riffs. They are a bit groove at the beginning, to turn into something more normal for this band. By the way, the tempo is not so obsessively fast like in the other tracks and the structure is more complex and long. It’s always good to notice that the riffs are always present, even during this mid-paced episode. “Prayed Upon” is a bit more schizophrenic in the rhythmic riffage but everything is always less fast at the beginning, to turn into blast beats or up tempo parts. Here the vocals pass quite easily from some more screamed parts to change a bit of tonality.
This album is a truly return to sheer violence for Malevolent Creation. All the tracks, except for the ones I said, are fucking fast and brutal. A certain lack of extremely good songwriting is to notice in few cases. The riffs are sometimes too similar and the structures are rarely innovative or catchy. I know it’s death metal but other albums have catchier structures, even being always brutal. By the way, this album is a safe shelter for those who search for sheer brutality and it’s a thing to enjoy about.