Malevolent Creation - _Warkult_
(Nuclear Blast, 2004)
by: Jackie Smit (
With song titles like "Preemptive Strike" and "Shock & Awe" adorning the tracklisting down the back sleeve of Malevolent Creation's eleventh full-length effort, one suspects that everyone's favourite second-tier death metallers have decided to get political on us. Whether or not they intend for _Warkult_ to be a deft musical kick up the arse for the Bushes and Rumsfelds of this world becomes a moot point however after "Dead March" kicks into its introductory rumble and the message hits home that this is going to be a seriously nasty piece of work. As with the band's last studio outing, _The Will to Kill_, _Warkult_ finds the malevolent ones in top technical form with the vocals of one-time Hateplow growler, Kyle Simmons, sounding as ferocious as ever against the backdrop of Phil Fasciana and Rob Barret's grinding guitars. The return of Dave Culross to the drum stool proves a further boon for the band, and quite predictably many of the songs seem almost purpose-written to take advantage of his talent for blasting at nigh on insane speeds. Yet overall _Warkult_ fails to impress to quite the same consistent extent as its predecessor, which is largely due to the band slowing things down halfway through proceedings and inexplicably trading their signature riffing for the kind of tepid, generic melodies that were last being bandied around Sweden in the mid-nineties. Astonishingly this unnecessary lull lasts for a good three to four songs, breaking up the record's atmosphere to the point where you might think you're listening to a different record. One could of course argue the merits of the adventurous intentions behind this attempt at diversity, but ultimately there are far more effective ways of adding variety to an album, and unfortunately in this case fifteen years' worth of experience has apparently not proven enough to enable the band to do so. And in this lies the album's biggest let-down, because songs like "Tyranic Opression" and "Murder Reigns" probably rank amongst some of the best material in the Malevolent Creation discography.
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