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So Far, Their Best - 89%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, October 28th, 2008

The Fine Art Of Murder signs the come back for two members in the line-up, the great singer Brett Hoffmann and Dave Culross at the drums and you can hear the difference…this new Malevolent Creation effort is a true hit behind the head for violence and speed. First of all, we can begin from the production that is easily the best they’ve ever had. Their style, thanks also to that production, is somehow more bound to a death/thrash form. The guitars riffs are sharp and powerful but not so distorted like in the past and the vocals follow the same style with schizophrenic screams that are never excessive but always truly nasty.

“To Die At His Hand” and the following “Manic Demise” show great mixes of different speed. The blast beats are more preponderant in the first track, while the riffs are darker on the second one. By the way, the blast beats sections and the up tempo parts are present in both the compositions to add brutality and speed to them. The choruses are well-stuck and far catchier than in the past; that’s a good thing. The precision of the drumming is unbelievable and still nowadays I prefer Culross behind the drums. “Instinct Evolved” and “Dissect the Eradicated” are both great and catchy for the guitars lines and this time we have a general, more careful concentration on the structures. The blast beats are alternated to hyper heavy, almost doom parts but the riffs are always present and fast.

On the other hand we can find also longer songs on this album, like “Mass Graves” or the title track. The first song is incredibly catchy with the riffs and the snare drum rolls part. It’s incredible to notice that even if this song is long, it doesn’t bore me also because there are good, faster restarts spread all around. The title track has some weak points by the beginning and the end with those effects and some clean vocals, by the way, going on the things are getting better and the speed increases reaching the blast beats too in the central part. “Bone Exposed” is more than probably the sickest track here and it’s on continue fast pace. The blast beats are vicious and the violence is multiplied for ten, in order to level every building around.

“The Purge” follows the return to speed with three minutes of fast tempo and excellent bass drum work. Even this time we have far catchier structures and riffs. The fast songs in this album are better structured that the ones in the past. “Fracture” features again those “clean”, disturbed vocals in some parts and they are not exceptional, but once again the style changes when the song changes of skin and adds viciousness at the structure. The riffs are better in those parts and “Rictus Surreal” shows faster riffs with equally good mid-paced sections. “Scorned” has a prevalent thrash metal riffage inside with lots of palm muting parts while the tremolo picking technique add a dark touch to this good track.

“Day Of lamentation” is an experiment in change for this band. The dark lines and the melancholic arpeggios are a thing never heard before from this band and it’s a great song. Everything is sad, cold and totally lifeless in terms of feelings. The long, doom progression is frankly astounding for innovation. “Scattered Flesh” is the violent episode to close the album with furious blast beats and the violence that arises once again. All things considered, up till now this is the Malevolent Creation album I like the most. It’s brutal but shows also more convincing structures and a more complete songwriting. If it wasn’t for some weak parts, it could have been even great.