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Different but good - 85%

transientblur, December 17th, 2003

Malevolent Creation’s “In Cold Blood” is both musically and lyrically a departure from their older albums like the “Ten Commandments” and “Retribution”. This album and “Eternal” show a massive lineup change, most notably bassist Jason Blachowicz taking over the lyric writing and screaming. Unlike the previous vocalist, Brett Hoffman, Blachowicz has a lifeless, drab and entirely monotonous vocal performance. While it fits this album’s music better, there’s no question Brett Hoffman was the best vocalist for this band. That being said, Blachowicz’s grunts are very cold and come from the stomach, and despite being generic it’s a very scary and evil sounding delivery. Filling Dave Culross’s shoes, which is a very difficult task, is Derik Roddy. His drumming skills are incredible; he relentlessly pounds on the snare while performing incredible double bass blasts. John Paul Soars plays the guitar along with the band’s only original member, Phil Fasciana. Phil’s playing changes from Malevolent Creation release to release, and here he’s written some very memorable choppy and rhythm based riffs. They are much lower pitched compared to the later releases of the band, but of course they’re still very heavy and catchy. Between the very hot-leveled mix courtesy of Scott Burns, choppy riffs, different vocalist and lyrics this does not sound like a typical Malevolent Creation release. Nevertheless, it’s a very well played and makes for an exciting listen.

Some of the album’s highlights are “Compulsive” which starts off with a great sound effect (gunfire?) and “Narcotic Genocide”. Both of these songs have pretty well written death metal lyrics, “Compulsive” is a song about a backstabbing friend and “Narcotic Genocide” is about, obviously, a drug abuser. Almost of the lyrics are very critical and hate filled, and from the sounds of his voice and lyrics “I will make you bleed/Killing is my game” Blachowicz is not a man to anger. The album’s strongest track is “In Cold Blood”, a mid-paced song with an infectious riff and despite the monotony of his vocals, a very memorable vocal line.

Although it’s not a typical MC release, it’s very well played and very memorable. No points have been taken off for very similar strong structures and the lack of change from song to song, because after all, that’s what Malevolent Creation stands for. Dependable, memorable, expertly played, and above all, heavy. This is a great release from a great band.