Appearing in Birmingham, the home of Second-City Hardcore, NO ZODIAC and Malevolence promised to be a show that would bring absolute chaos to Mama Roux’s. If you are unfamiliar with beat-down shows in Birmingham, they are synonymous with brutality and aggression, acting as some of the most perilous shows in the UK…. and this one did not falter.
Opening for Malevolence were Phoenix’s most ruthless outfit, NO ZODIAC . Playing what can only be described as a misanthropic fusion of death-metal and beatdown, the band gained the most notorious crowd of the night. Opening with ‘Drowning’ from 2012’s Population Control the bar was already raised, with vocalist RoLodiac shouting ‘get the fuck of the stairs!’ to fans that were apprehensive about joining in the crowd.
From the first chug of guitars into a face-melting break-down, crowd killing ensued (a stray broom managed to hit a few people in the face). Energies were continued into ‘King of Scorn’ from Eternal Misery where the hellish down-tempoed guitars led to a frenzy of head banging. Closing their set with ‘Population Control’ and ‘Chaos Reigns’ demonstrated that NO ZODIAC are a band who will take no prisoners, and are one of the most notoriously heavy bands in the world.
Malevolence - Photo Credit: wondergirlphoto
With the crowd warmed up, it was time for Sheffield shredders Malevolence  to take the stage. Having only just released sophomore album Self Supremacy, the band were warmly welcomed back to Birmingham with a raucous crowd. Opening with the groove-metal riff of ‘Slave to Satisfaction’, it was evident from the get-go that Malevolence are on the top of their game, with a sound tighter than ever.
The musicianship when ‘Severed Ties’ was played was second to none, with killer-riffs twinned with blast-beats that sounded as heavy as machine gun fire. Hearing the crowd singing Andrew Neufeld from Comeback Kid’s part ferociously with passion was something unforgettable. What was special about Malevolence’s set was just how timeless material from their debut album Reign of Suffering is. Tracks such as ‘Delusions of Fear’, ‘In the Face of Death’ and ‘Serpents Chokehold’ went down an absolute storm, giving the band their most violent crowds of the night. Finishing their set with an encore that was a cover, might seem slightly ridiculous. Nonetheless, paying homage to Hatebreed with ‘Driven by Suffering’ was totally apt, with Hatebreed symbolising the legacy of the scene, and Malevolence representing the new wave of metal/hardcore. If you’re yet to see Malevolence live, do not sleep on this band, as they are the face of UK metal in 2017.