Malevolence – The Other Side (MLVLTD Music)

Hungry for some more Malevolence? Well you’re not getting a new album just yet. But the Sheffield metal crew have at least given their fans something to chew on while the band’s next full-length is in gestation.

A three-track EP, The Other Side is snapshot of how the band are progressing.

They sound sharp. The songwriting is well-honed.

There’s precious little fat, but plenty of sinewy muscle and grey matter on show.

Malevolence’s metal and hardcore punch combo has always been a devastating one – and on Keep Your Distance (what song title could be more apt at the moment?) they unleash it to full effect. The band’s HC bounce collides with Lamb Of God-style, lacerating thrash for three minutes of scintillating mayhem. And the presence of Bryan Garris, frontman of touring buddies Knocked Loose, ups the aggro level even further.

Remain Unbeaten brings more groove to the ring, bringing to mind a Biohazard v Crowbar v Hatebreed death match. And just as you feel it might have descended into generic NOLA sludge, sticksman Charlie Thorpe switches on the afterburners and throws the tune into a rapid ascent.

But while Keep Your Distance may turn out to be the fan fave, it’s the EP’s title track which really turns heads.

More melodic than anything the band have written in the past, The Other Side is a poignant, thoughtfully crafted semi-ballad. Featuring a stirring vocal performance from guitarist Konan Hall, there’s a strong emotional pull to the track, a heaviness that comes more from the six stringer’s heart than the hard-edged, downtuned guitars which eventually steer it towards a climax. It’s doubtful Malevolence would have attempted this during the Reign Of Suffering era… and the song is testimony to how far they’ve travelled since forming a decade ago.

If this EP is a taste of what’s to come, album number three could be very special indeed.

Check out our recent interview with Malevolence here.