Malevolent Creation: Retribution
02/02/11 || InquisitorGeneralis
Inquisitorgeneralis: The time has come for another combination assault on a classic metal record from the Global Domination staff. This time we are really cranking up the volume and reaching across the globe to surgically analyze one of the best death metal records of the early 90’s. Your mad pathologists on this album’s autopsy are two of most thrashed up lovers of brutality that Lord K keeps in his cages, yours truly the Inquisitor and the Teutonic titan Habakuk. Continents and oceans may divide us, but a bromantic love for Demolition Hammer and Malevolent Creation unites us. The time for “Retribution” is at hand!
Habakuk: Indeed it is. Retribution for what, anyway? A valid question, but this is one of these albums that don’t really have to provide any answers for anything. Just fucken Retribution, GOSH…! The facts, my dear Inquisitor, speak for themselves, across the globe: Malevolent Creation is a high-class death metal act, and “Retribution” was their second masterpiece album in a row.
Inquisitorgeneralis: Fuck yeah it was, there was definitely no sophomore let-down on here. This is classic, painful death metal done right. While “Eternal” is definitely my favorite record by these long-running Amis, I acknowledge that “Retribution” is a classic in every sense of the word. Shall we proceed?
Habakuk We shall. Moving away from their thrash influences of the earliest of days, Malevolent Creation embraced death in its grooviest form on this album. Not exactly fast in the sense of the word, “Retribution” is instead packed with the meanest of riffs, combined by bad-ass, punchy transitions.
InvidiousGeneration: Hell yeah, most people think that Suffocation are the masters of teh br00tal groove, but Malevolent Creation writes the manual for that shit on “Retribution”. Case in point, “No flesh shall be spared”; a song that beats the hell out of you with impressive double-bass and a plodding, mechanical tempo. What is truly special is that Malevolent Creation manages to keep things interesting by tossing in just enough changes and variation between the tracks to make them standout. “Iced” is a monster finisher and features a championship breakdown worthy of the Swedish masters like Grave and Entombed. Seriously, what is more metal than being “Iced”? It could mean getting iced in a drive-by shooting, or just being tossed in the icy freezer in the morgue. Either way, metal prevails.
Habacalypse, Eve of the I think being iced faster than a laser bullet, then chromium plated could be a bit more metal. That’s about it though. Your case of “No flesh…” is valid, but then again – all of these songs are of that quality level. I’ve had this album for years, and I still can’t make out a favorite. To me, absolute bliss lays not so much on song level, but is parts-based. “Slaughter of innocence”‘s intro? Holy shit. “Monster” at 0:27/1:13 ? I mean, that’s not just a groove, that is a fucken monster. And the intro to “Eve of the Apocalypse” is something that has to be experienced live. What an onslaught. Stories will recall.
Igeed: Agreed, just listen to the first three tracks and you will be systematically executed by the band’s extreme take on death metal. Malevolent Creation definitely kick the intensity up a notch from slower bands like Obituary but manage to be a lot more creative and groovy than faster contemporaries like Cannibal Corpse. Only the mighty Monstrosity is in the same league as the Malevolent Ones in terms of writing interesting but not overdone death metal. I believe a 9 is deserved here. Is that good Habamana, or does it need to go up a nizzotch?
Hagreed: Except for the fact that Monstrosity, while great, has never been anywhere near this shit, we’re set here. Interesting, yes, very. Not overdone, no. 9.
Kuk Productions: It can only be Morrisound. I know without looking it up. And while it’s not overly loud at that, obviously, headphones really make it shine; the snarly bass in the back, a nasty, sawing guitar sound multiplied by two and a balanced kit with deep, rumbling double bass.
IG Industries: Yeah man, this does sound pretty good for Morrisound. I don’t find it necessary to jack up the volume just to hear what is going on. I agree with you on all points sir: the guitars sound like flesh-ripping chainsaws and the drums are tuned perfectly for the albums feel and style. The vocals don’t overpower either. For this time period and genre, I think another 9 is called for. Maybe even a 9.5?
Skeptikuk: You’re hasty with those nines, young fella. The kind of guy that hands out 10s, too, aren’t ya. No, no. This is an 8. Which means it’s great. Look, I’ll bargain it out for ya, so we can move on: 8.5.
Indefenseofmy10s: Hey now, I only handed out 10’s to the cream of the crop…and Boston I admit, I am a bit more gracious than others when it comes to teh scores. I guess it is just the lover (of dudes) in me. I’ll go with the 8.5 here and I will try to keep my cock in my pants for the rest of the review. Take us away on geetaurs; I believe you are the man to get this one started…
Have-a-riff: Fasciana and Barrett are a pretty bad-ass tag team, just like us. Only difference is they didn’t write for GD. Lamers. No, there are so many riffs on here it’s impossible to point out favorites. The thing these two have down like no-one else is the riffs that use only a very small fraction of the fret board, which is obviously the lowest notes, but in spectacular fashion, with great palm-muted/open alterations, odd but awesome timing, shred of death, what have you. Dying Fetus’ wigliwigliwiooo can fuck off big time. This here is the shit.
Inspectadeck: While I disagree with your thoughts on the Fetus, I agree with you on Fasciana and Barrett. They definitely bring the pain without getting too wankerific. Again, just like us. The whammy bar is used but not sodomized and the riffs are evil as hell but with a little taste of thrash tossed into keep things moving. There are too many excellent moments to point out. In general, the guitars are strongest when the band slows down the tempo and enters the heavy zone. I will defer the score to you this time Habakuk while I go stroke my damaged, insulted Dying Fetus boner.
Discern-a-kuk: Oh please. Only the shit parts about Fetus are shit. The good stuff is good! Anyway, with an emphasis on the aforementioned little taste of thrash in the riffing I shall hereby hand out in my full consciousness – a 9!
ImpalementGrotesque: ‘Tis true, even a total fan boy like me can admit that Dying Fetus ups the wankery dial a bit too much from time to time. However, on “Retribution”, Malevolent Creation does not. NNNNIIIIIIINNNNNEEEEEE.
Itslapszebass: I enjoy pretty much everything Jason Blachowicz has done between his work with Malevolent Creation and his off-shoot side project, Divine Empire. While “Eternal” is his true moment of awesome in terms of playing and stepping up on vocals, he takes care of bass business on “Retribution”. Along with Alex Marquez on the skins, he helps form a rumbling, looming backbone to an album that beats you, fucks you, and doesn’t even have the courtesy to call 911.
Ha-But!-kuk: And apart from the fact that he seems to be a racist fucktard, all’s good. The bass on here sounds definitely awesome. Like on the predecessor, they went for a metallic, trebly sound which adds a little more grit to the guitars, which Blachowicz is basically following all the way. I’d say a 7 is in order?
Popquizzeralis: Hmm, I was unaware of any racism. Minus personal points for being a douche, but I agree with the 7 when it comes to bass playing. Next!
Motherkuker: Two words: “….diiiiieeeeee mother-fuckerrrrrrrrrrr”, plus ensuing scream. Brett Hoffmann’s performance is absolutely frantic. He is one of my favorite death metal vocalists, and on a roll.
Igtheasshole: Fuck yeah, Hoffmann is on a hot buttered roll on “Retribution”. His growls are distinct and perfect for the band’s style. They don’t overpower and thankfully the malevolent ones know when let Hoffman do his thing and when to let the band rock out. I give the vocals a 7.
Furykuk: Excuse me? I said “one of my favorite death metal vocalists”, that ain’t a 7! His style is too unique and his singing too well integrated into the music for that. Without Hoffmann, this wouldn’t be what it is. 8 or 8.5 even (+0.5 for the lyric-less screams).
Illgiveupalittle: I’ll go with an 8. I don’t have as huge a Hoffmann hard-on as you but the dude is solid and I can see kicking it up to an 8… but no more!
Hababoon: Drums! Splendid! Classic Malevolent was always a matter of fantastic drummers, and Alex Marquez is no exception. I love how he uses minimal blasting to spice things up, and apart from that relies on his absolutely terrific kick drum work, d-beating and – again, “Monster”, 1:12 – monstrous groove. Listen to these patterns combined with the riffs and tell me that’s not fucken perfection.
Insightiscomingsoon: Sparky Voyles, of Dying Fetus and Misery Index fame, now works with me doing concert security here in lovely Baltimore. He recently told me that Marquez was a huge inspiration for drummers like Kevin Talley and Adam Jarvis, but has now disappeared and is living somewhere in South America trying to avoid Los Federales. This is a shame because, as Habakuk perfectly explained, the dude could fucking shred. His footwork is impressive, even by today’s extreme standards, and he flows from pace to pace, tempo to tempo with ease. Is a 9 ok this time?
Sarcasmokuk: First of all, a 10 is in order for your fine metal connections, enabling us to endow our review with firsthand knowledge. Speaking of drumming again, there is not an instance on this album where Marquez comes across as uninspired. His performance holds almost as much to discover as I imagine your pants do during those steamy Baltimore concert security nights with them big names. Hence a 9 is absolutely fine. And just out of curiosity, my native speaking counterpart: is it even possible to “shred” on drums?
Inamelancholicstateofmind: Yes you can shred the drums. And on “Retribution” Mr. Marquez definitely does. And yes, my pants hold many secrets and dark riddles while I beat the hell out of drunken hipsters alongside of metal greats like the Sparkman. Oh, Marquez kills the drums on “Monster” and he is a fucking monster. 9 all the way baby.
Illorbeilled: I miss classic death metal lyrics like this. There is nothing about orbital spheres, philosophical journeys, or forest trolls. Malevolent Creation cover the basics; killing, dying, and destroying shit. I think my favorite lines come from “Systematic execution”…
Dying screams clutter the sands.
Echoing sounds, chaotic laughter.
The sun is killed, behind a blackened sky.
The son is killed, a father watches him die.
A dead son and a dead sun? Now that is fucking metal! Haba, your thoughts?
Killerkuk: I can say with a degree of certainty that I’ve never read the lyrics for this one, but I know Hoffmann writes good shit, and the only stuff I can make out from his howling is stuff about killing and dying, if necessary systematically. What’s not to like? This gets an 8 without further ado.
And just out of curiosity, I never really understood the vocal sample that ends “Iced”. Care to shed some light?
Incoldblood: No light can be shed here my distant, digital friend. That sample is unknown to me. According to ze Metal Archives the intro to the album is from “Harvey: Portrait of a Serial Killer” so that’s cool. Killing is metal. An 8 is great.
Habartisan: This looks pretty damn good, but I don’t see the Retribution. You?
Innerbeauty: All I see is another cool looking, but completely nonsensical Seagrave painting. Maybe that Demon-thingy is out for some retribution? Maybe he wants some nachos, fuck if I know! I give it a 7 for sweet looks that have nothing to do with the album itself. Does that really matter though? Especially for early 90’s death metal? Probably not.
Hab..alloon? Nah man, at least I see a certain potential for killing and/or dying here, that should be enough. 7.
Ineutero: Evil looking black letters with even more evil looking red lining? I’m sold. This is the kind of logo you would expect from an early 90’s South Florida death metal act. Do all the other MC records have this logo? If so, that’s fucken cool. Kuks McGee, you are the man to answer that questions and drop the score on this one…
Kukies: They do; only the colors change. Anyway it’s a fucken ace logo. T-shirt worthy, even. I’ll say 7, because I’ve done so before.
Kuktrotter: I’m on the wrong end of the world to look up what’s in the booklet. I’m sure it’s fucken AWESOME though. Booklets man, the stuff metal dreams are made of.
Inhaler: And I’m on the wrong end of lazy to look up what’s in the booklet. I am sure it is profound, prolific, and productive. Or not. N/A for the score. Let’s get to the big finish. I’ll put on some clean sheets…
Overall and Ending Rant
Wrapakup: Fine then. Retribution is one of Malevolent Creation’s bestestest albums. It’s not my favorite one and it’s not yours, but its quality cannot possibly be denied. It’s got the groove, it lacks the wank, it’s evil to ze bone. Far from one-dimensional, and having evolved from the primeval thrash-heavy debut into a slightly slower, yet more elaborate punishing death metal offering, this record is up there with Florida’s best.
Inanicelittlepackage: This is certainly is one of Florida’s best and I deem it worthy to be mentioned with other heavy-hitters of the same genre and style like Death’s “Leprosy”, Obituary’s “World Demise”, and Monstrosity’s “Imperial Doom”. It is extreme, groovy death metal done with enough style to be interesting and enough restraint to avoid being obnoxious. I still say “Eternal” is tops, but this baby is not too far behind. As for a final score, I am thinking somewhere in the 8-9 range? My soul brother from another death/thrash mother, what say you?
Kukit Now while I don’t see a connection to “Leprosy” or “World demise”, and of course think the debut was their high point, this one marks a logical progression from “The ten commandments” towards more elaborate material and as such, an 8.5 is definitely in order. It is what Monstrosity always wanted to be, but better.
InternationalDomination: I see a connection to “Leprosy” due to the more interesting song structures and technical sections. “World Demise” got a shout out for the raw feel, all though I am probably picking the wrong Obituary record to reference. Florida baby, it’s Florida! Either way, “Retribution” is a certified winner and deserves the overall 8.5. Just like our double-bubble effort. Let’s do it again sometime Haby. Don’t tell Daemo, he might be bromantically jealous, but my number is on the dresser….
- Released: 1992
- Label: Roadrunner Records
- Website: Malevolent Creation MySpace
- Brett Hoffmann: vocals
- Phil Fasciana: guitars
- Rob Barrett: guitars
- Jason Blachowicz: bass
- Alex Marquez: drums
- 01. Eve of the apocalypse
- 02. Systematic execution
- 03. Slaughter of innocence
- 04. Coronation of our domain
- 05. No flesh shall be spared
- 06. The coldest survive
- 07. Monster
- 08. Mindlock
- 09. Iced