Malevolence – Malicious Intent: Album Review

Malevolence return to take 2022 by the scruff of the neck with their third long player; Malicious Intent.

Release Date: 20th May 2022

Label: Nuclear Blast

Format: CD / Vinyl / Digital

Malevolence are no strangers to the pages of At The Barrier. We were privileged to have Alex Taylor from the band write in our Why I Love column about Hatebreed (read here). They are also one of our picks of bands to watch at this years Download Festival and they have recently replaced the aforementioned Hatebreed as headliners of the second stage at the 2022 iteration of Bloodstock. Prior to this summer’s shenanigans, Malevolence unleash more fury to the masses with their new album, Malicious Intent.

Brimming with ten songs and clocking in at 38 minutes, Malicious Intent is a complete tour-de-force of hardcore, metalcore and sludge metal to help open and flex your sinews. Whilst the title suggests hostility and belligerence, there are plenty of more solemn moments to help show a diversity to Malevolence’s sound.

Life Sentence, On Broken Glass and Still Waters Run Deep all crush as Malicious Intent bursts out of the blocks. There is no let up for the opening part of the album; just what you would expect from Malevolence.

What you might not expect is a more reserved diversion on Higher Power. Malevolence flex their gentler side but it still bites. It gives a little respite before the pace picks up again on Karma. ‘So let the hammer swing,’ comes the cry and boy does it. Breakneck riffing mixed with huge breakdowns and vocals that will be screamed in unison in many a pit, make for a truly exhilarating listen.

Above All Else teases another slower departure but that is blown out of the water after the introduction. The track is also the first of two tracks to feature special guests. Matt Honeycutt of Kublai Khan adds his vocals to the track. ‘I walk with a chip on my shoulder,’ is the next rallying call; you can feel the emotion flowing throughout the track with a more aggressive feel than any of the aforementioned cuts so far.

The final furlong of the album blasts its way in through Do Or Die. Matt Heafy (of Trivium) adds his vocals to the massive Salvation. Musically, devastation still rules but Salvation is a cut above the other tracks here. It truly soars, and the guitar solo in the centre of the song slays. When Malevolence hit their groove in this way they are a truly formidable prospect that demand your absolute attention.

Fittingly, the closing track is named Armageddon. It could be a little on the nose to make analogies between a track title and the overall sound of an album, but Malevolence truly bring an apocalyptic sound to life like no other. They weave parts of Crowbar, Trivium, Bleed From Within and many more into their own dastardly tapestry. Stick this with solid production values and dynamite live shows, Malevolence are ready to take on the world.

Check out Life Sentence from Malevolence below.

Malevolence: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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