Malevolent CreationGlobal Domination
Conquering South America
The album cover here (a boot knife thrust into a paper map of South America, if you can’t tell from the picture) may seem a bit silly at first, but it actually is perfect for this album. Personally, the cover makes me think of pith helmets, savage tribesmen, foreign invaders, and bloody warfare fought with spear, rife, dagger, long knife, tooth, and rapier. It brings up images of Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”, and of the film based upon Conrad’s story, “Apocalypse Now”.The savagery displayed here is breathtaking: the guitars grind and shriek, the vocalist nearly vomits his throat out, and the drum assault is comparable to an artillery salvo that lasts for an entire hour. The songs are selected intelligently, with the focus being on “Eternal” and “Retribution”, along with scattered appearances by songs from “Ten Commandments”, “Envenomed”, “The Fine Art of Murder”, and “The Will to Kill”. Luckily, Malevolent Creation were able to keep their egos in check, and no songs from the abysmal “Stillborn” or the mediocre “In Cold Blood” appear on this one. What does this mean? Well, if you’re looking for groovy death metal, you’ll want to avoid this album, as it showcases Malevolent Creation at their most feral, in other words, fucken blast beat central.The production is rather well done. It’s a bit clean, but at least it has a lot of bite to it, especially in the barbarous guitar tone. The between-song banter is a bit contrived at times, but the vocalist’s enthusiasm for death metal always shines through. The guitar line-up features Phil Fasciana and Rob Barret; the best guitar duo Malevolent Creation ever had, in my opinion. It’s a shame Barret went back to Cannibal Corpse after this album; he’s absolutely wasted in that band. Journeyman drummer Tony Laureano of Angelcorpse, Nile, and Aurora Borealis fame rips it up on the kit here. I really like this guy’s style; instead of just showing off, he always keeps the brutality of the record as the first priority. He’s fast; he does cool fills, but above all, he provides the rhythm section necessary for a record this brutal.And holy Hell, is it brutal! This is truly a live album worthy of Malevolent Creation’s legacy, I wasn’t expecting anything remotely this great when I bought it. About the “Heart of Darkness” reference: Malevolent Creation represent both sides of the equation. They’re the brutal and primitive savagery of the tribesmen, but they’re also the invaders who wish only to conquer and enslave the native population. Judging by the wild cheers and roars of the crowd, I’d say that they succeeded.
Sea of Tranquility
Closer to the excellent Will To Kill than the not-as-good Warkult, Conquering South America, a sharpened steel shank stab to the spine, serves as a reminder of why Malevolent Creation has endured for over a decade and why the outfit continues to attract new fans as it continues to evolve. Recorded in 2001 the album represents the outfit’s career to that point very well with tracks such as “Multiple Stab Wounds,” “Manic Demise” and “Blood Brothers” demonstrating that the Malevolent Creation is responsible for creating some of the most timeless death metal tracks out there. Although Kyle Symons’ stage patter is at best flat (“We got plenty of songs coming,” “We don’t have any merchandise”), he more than makes up for it while shredding the hell out of vocal cords during pieces such as “Monster” and “Infernal Desire.” Not a classic on the level of, say, Deep Purple’s Made In Japan or even the recent double set from King Diamond, but really, really strong just the same.
South America might be the only place on Earth besides Antarctica that Malevolent Creation hasn’t already completely taken over. Well this hour-long journey was recorded live and is a first of its kind from one of Florida’s most devastating and influential death metal bands. Ranging from their roots in ’91 to the most current headbangers, “Conquering South America” captures how destructive and chaotic this band is live. - J-Sin