Saturday, 14 July 2012

MALEVOLENT CREATION - Eternal (1995)


01  No Salvation
02  Blood Brothers
03  Infernal Desire
04  Living In Fear
05  Unearthly
06  Enslaved
07  Alliance Of War
08  They Breed
09  To Kill
10  Hideous Reprisal
11  Eternal
12  Tasteful Agony

'Eternal' is the fourth studio album by Florida death metal band Malevolent Creation. It was released on May 23rd, 1995 via Pavement Music after the band were dropped by Roadrunner. It is the first album without drummer Alex Marquez and original vocalist Brett Hoffmann, whose vocal duties were taken over by bassist Jason Blachowicz.

From the slow paced opener 'No Salvation' to the no holds barred closer "Tasteful Agony" this CD simply smokes! Although there is some lead work present on this release, it does not dominate the music so the absolute death metal purists out there need not worry about this band 'selling out'. "Blood Brothers" starts with Malevolent Creation's new and very able drummer Dave Culross, applying some very rapid kicks. This guy must be fit, as his fluid extreme drumming exhibition on 'Eternal' shows what an asset he is as his kit gets an astounding pummeling. I can see how this effort might have a divisive effect on the audience. It is heavily front-loaded with a lot of straight slamming death with an almost hardcore underpinning, and frankly rather formulaic. Incredibly tight, driving double bass is slathered in a mix of palm muted grooves and uppity old school rhythms.

The production on this record also aids the band's sound immensley. 'Eternal' has a cleaner sound, more mature perhaps, as compared to the previous three albums (especially 'Stillborn', which comes closest to 'Eternal' in terms of style and antagonism), but maintains a quality of grittiness. I can’t say they neither stepped it up nor took a step back here, but Eternal has its own distinctive sound, and it couldn’t have been any more fitting. Now, when this album was released, there was a lot of controversy over the song "They Breed", where towards the end of the track Jason Blachowicz shouts "You fucking Niggers!". The song is apparently about scum. The band have made it clear over the years that they are not racist. However, it was this song and an incident in Germany that led to Jason's removal from the group. He decided to wear a KKK shirt at a concert and the band was subsequently pelted with objects and booed offstage, leading to guitarist Phil Fasciana assaulting Jason.

Anyway, back to the record - There is an abundance of movie clips present, and unlike the majority of albums utilizing clips for comedic or shock value, these are used tactfully and complement the musical content, often looping through a section of music to build up an entrancing, morbid atmosphere. You’re not listening to an album for its samples (well you might be but then you’re just weird), but these are practically integral to the music and one of the best utilizations of movie clips on any metal album. Everything Malevolent Creation did with 'Eternal' is gold. This is an album of unbelievably authentic, masterful and undiluted death metal. But words can hardly do it justice, so give it a listen yourself and be blown away.

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