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Here we have the debut from Malevolent Creation. A young bunch still sounding as a group wanting to have a go at the newly evolved death metal style but clearly grown up on thrash. While still a thrash metal band on their first 1989 demo they’d dive further into the Scott Burns sound by the time they recorded their second demo. And also the vocals took on a slightly more grunting attitude although there are still thrash metal acts around with a lower sounding vocalist (like some obvious Cavalera material). Just like Dave Vincent on Altars Of Madness, Hoffmann is on the raspy side of gruff vocals here. No lower than low grunting. None of that Cannibal Corpse muddiness.
Now this combination of 3/4 death, 1/4 thrash musically on ‘The Ten commandments’ together with Hoffmann’s raspy vocals makes this one of those albums nicely balancing between very aggressive riff and polka driven thrash on one side and death metal with blastbeats on the other. Best example of this mixture might be ‘Decadence Within’.
Listening back almost 20 years later it really sounds as a transitional album and that’s possibly the sole reason this is their only album I pretty much like to play a few times each year. The drums here don’t sound like typewriters yet and not all songs need to have a blast beat section. Choruses are catchier (‘Thou Shall Kill’ anyone?) because the thrash idea was still behind them and not forgetting to mention the (d)evolution of the grunt in years to come when vocals became less and less dynamic.
Malevolent Creation sound thrashiest on ‘Injected Sufferage’ whereas ‘Premature Burial’ clearly goes that other way with some Morbid Angel and Terrorizer thrown in and the rest of the album fluently finds its way through all this. All three songs from their 1990 demo and the older ‘Injected Sufferage’ are features and a bunch of new tunes.
But this history lesson aside, is the ‘The Ten Commandments’ good? Well, it’s a pioneering album from a developing scene with more than plenty of great riffs, hooks and choruses to stay entertaining the full length. On top of that a very recognisable vocalist, a suitable heavy production and over all a clearly eager band playing their asses off trying to convince the world. What do you want more? It’s just great.