Review: “Stand Your Ground” EP by Malign

A Beatdown Hardcore six piece from Manchester, Malign have been joined by members of Broken Down and Street Soldier for guest spots on their recently released EP “Stand Your Ground”. Getting your mates on board for the ride is a great idea but when you’ve got a pair of vocalists of your own in Jason Moss and Lewis Stevenson, is another voice just muddying the water? Not a bit of it! Malign are rounded out by a pair of guitarists in Braddan Everett and Jack Baker, bassist Ryan Tongue and drummer Scott Brown while the EP was Recorded, Mixed & Mastered by Gav at Rain City Studios.

It’s probably simply a coincidence but both guest appearances are from members of bands hailing from Sheffield who make it obvious that they represent the North of England, whereas some bands avoid locating themselves geographically speaking at all. “Suffer” has an instantly headbangable riff in Metallic Hardcore style while an almost spoken word style rap flow vocal takes hold. Jay from Broken Down brings the pain with the crushing Deathcore vocal hit which then breaks out into a faster flow rap with a funky bass heavy breakdown. The Downtempo groove closing perhaps hints at band members having influences in Deathcore or Slam with both genres being big in Slamchester. “Demise” is the soundtrack to the torture scene in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, if it was set in any Northern city. Its cold gang violence orientated lyrics are matched of by the feedback free chugs and pause break guitar work in style. Each cymbal hit stabs like a knife in the ear drum and there are a couple of rap flows that could be likened to the Asteroid Boys material. “Doubt” keeps up the Northern Hardcore grooves with aggressive tendencies and two stepping the order of the day. The gang chant that accompanies the ferocious vocal venom “F*** YOUR DOUBT” joins the direct assault on the senses while Scotty Hall and Laurie “Drill SGT.” Caldwell of Street Soldier lend their voices to the proceedings with “two zero one nine” the new phrase of the day. “Fragility” surprises with the introduction of blast beats to bring in the vocals and a rant about internet backstabbers who think they’re all that and then some. The riffs are both simple and effective and if ever there was a reminder that less is more, this is a fine example of it. Slowing things down for a big downtempo crescendo is a fine way to bring the house down [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Suffer (Ft. Jay of Broken Down)
  2. Demise
  3. Doubt (Ft. Scotty Hall & Laurie “Drill SGT.” Caldwell of Street Soldier)
  4. Fragility

“Stand Your Ground” by Malign is out now and available over at bandcamp.

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