Review: “The Other Side” EP by Malevolence

Seven years ago, 2013 saw Sheffield Shredders Malevolence land the first punch of their career with their debut album “Reign of Suffering“. A prizer fighter of a band in the bare knuckle boxing underground Metal circuit, they quickly developed a reputation for a high energy live show with their sound that blends Metal and Hardcore. 2017 changed the game as their sophomore album “Self Supremacy” saw their status catapult from Kings of the underground to national representatives of UK metal and hardcore, selling out club shows from mainland Europe to the USA, to South East Asia and Japan with many fans in other bands from France to Latin America spotted wearing their merchandise in promo shots. Fast forward to August 2019 and a headlining slot at Upsurge Festival. Vocalist Alex Taylor, joined by bassist Wilkie Robinson, guitarist duo Konan Hall and Josh Baines and of drummer Charlie Thorpe deliver a thunderous set before telling a packed audience that they have something special lined up that will happen “real soon“. They had already announced their own label with a resurgent Desolated already signed. Then came a European tour in support Knocked Loose for the launch of their sophomore album “A Different Shade Of Blue” before heading to Australia for Invasion Fest 2020. So now, in April, it’s time for “The Other Side“, an EP with production handled by Carl Bown (Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine) and artwork from Eliran Kantor (Testament, Venom Prison, Hatebreed).

Up to a point you could say that the pressure has been on for Malevolence. To follow up “Self Supremacy“, which is a classic album of front to back quality with anything less than that high bench mark would have been a travesty. As the opening melodic bars of “Remain Unbeaten” step up into their Groove Metal swagger, it’s abundantly clear that they’ve done themselves justice. Crossing into Beatdown tinged Metallic Hardcore for a burst of gang chant while Alex Taylor spits fist clenched strength beyond strength lyrics before a Throwdown esq vocal line and tempo shift into some adrenaline fueled riffs, it’s a cut both instantly addictive and easy to get into. “Keep Your Distance” was the first single and sees the Sheffield Shredders joined by Bryan Garris of Knocked Loose fame, the pair having shared stages on numerous occasions of late. We first witnessed it’s power in bootleg form from Invasion Fest 2020 in Australia and the studio version is in impeccable taste. A classic Metallic Hardcore track with an ocean of bounce laden riffs and venomous vocals, Taylor takes is rage out on the microphone while Garris brings that higher pitched tone to the table and spits his own well fitting verse before the pair intertwine their vocals on the final chorus. Title track “The Other Side” returns us to that melodic introduction of “Remain Unbeaten” with some melloncholic riffs that burst into flame after the first verse. A track that is more about the musicianship and song writing craft than anything else, it’s an epic classic Metal piece that showcases another aspect of the bands sound. The drums are huge and the complete package so well thought out that you’re left with your jaw to the floor wondering if this trio are just a teaser, in the same way that the “Mistakes Like Fractures” EP from Knocked Loose was, for an upcoming album later in the year. If it is then based on this sublime quality, it’s going to be something very special [9/10]

Track listing

  1. Remain Unbeaten
  2. Keep Your Distance (ft. Bryan Garris of Knocked Loose)
  3. The Other Side

The Other Side” by Malevolence is out 24th April via MLVLTD Music with pre-orders available here.

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