As much as the hardcore bone-headedness is gleefully on display, there’s also some real subtlety here. Eliran Kantor’s striking artwork evokes isolation and desperation of struggling with mental health, and matters of the heart and head are handled with remarkable delicacy throughout.
The searing Life Sentence captures the chest-tightening dread of finding yourself in a self-perpetuating downward spiral. Salvation, featuring Trivium’s Matt Heafy, hides glimmers of hope deep in its angular, shapeshifting composition. Like Baroness getting it on with Down, melodic centrepiece Higher Place delicately picks at grief and the great hereafter, imagining an outcome, ‘When all that exists, is just an empty shell of myself / Fading away, ’til no reflection remain.’
Make no mistake, though: Malevolence are here to stay. Their recent jaunt around UK arenas alongside Architects might have been their first real taste of stages that size but, on this evidence, it certainly won’t be their last.
For fans of: Power Trip, Knocked Loose, Thy Art Is Murder
Malicious Intent is released on May 20 via Nuclear Blast.
Catch Malevolence at Download Festival this summer. Get your tickets here.