Malevolent Creation - _Joe Black_
(Pavement, 1996)
by: Henry Akeley (7 out of 10)
This CD is a mixed bag of material: three new songs, three wild re-mixes, and some pretty obscure earlier stuff. Brand new opener "Joe Black" rages, racing crazily back and forth in trademark Malevolent style between power chord barrages, insane blast beats, and galloping jackhammer riffs. The other new songs are enjoyable too, but I don't think they're as strong as the best material on their latest full-length, _Eternal_. Also included is the '93 demo version of "Genetic Affliction", which, for my money, absolutely smokes the _Stillborn_ version. The three-track '90 demo which eventually got the band signed is also represented here, and "Remnants of Withered Decay" just rocks. Then there's a cover (recorded by the _Stillborn_ lineup) of Slayer's "Raining Blood", but I think it's awfully weak, especially considering that these are the guys who crushed _Reign in Blood_ beneath the pulverizing weight of _Retribution_. Finally, though, what compilation would be complete without three TECHNO (!!) re-mixes of tracks from the latest album?! That's right: -techno- mixes of Malevolent Creation songs. I can't stand techno, but you know, I think these tracks are pretty damn cool. Each is propelled by a driving programmed backbeat beneath scorching riffs, with looped samples and weird electronics piled up on top. Catchy, rhythmic, and uniquely wicked. Beyond that, I can't really describe these tracks, but hey, they came out heavy enough that the band decided to release them. Considering who we're talking about here, that ought to tell you something.

(article published 9/6/1996)

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