Malevolence - The Other Side | EP Review


After two albums that have taken Malevolence to the precipice of what hardcore music could be, The Other Side displays the depth of song-writing and fervent ambition that sets them aside from many of their contemporaries in heavy alternative music.

After waves of underground success with 2013’s Reign of Suffering and 2017’s Self-Supremacy - both albums contenders for metal albums of the year they were released - The Other Side is an extraordinary leap in both style and depth. Already famed for their dexterous riffs and twisting song-writing style, this new release is aptly laden with an album’s worth of ideas captured into just three songs; a mini-opus brimming with energy.

Opening track ‘Remain Unbeaten’ encapsulates this; a haunting, open-clean riff giving way to its crescendo; a stomping and melodious hook. The song is a titan, a powerful collection of bone-crunching sound bites juxtaposed with sharp, slashing lead-passages.

The typical plethora of beat-downs and pinch harmonics follow before the EP gives way to its follow-up act; ‘Keep Your Distance’. A fast-paced intro effortlessly slides into a mid-tempo verse before the listener is taken on Malevolence’s patented roller-coaster of transitions – the highlight of which is a brutal breakdown section featuring none other than Bryan Garris, lead singer of Knocked Loose. It sounds exactly how you would expect it to.

However, the masterpiece of the release is title track and closing track, 'The Other Side'. Here, Malevolence peel back the sweat-stained barrier that guards many hardcore bands from musical experimentation and envelop the listener into a emotionally drenched journey where all stereotypes, clichés and genre expectations of a band such as this are swept away in a 6 minute torrent. An acoustic guitar passage gives way to a solemn verse before the most powerful chorus of Malev’s career carries the rest of the song and puts a bow on an EP that will surely thrust open doors for Malevolence that few believed would even be ajar prior to this release.

Score: 9/10

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