Malevolence - _Martyrialized_
(Maquiavel Music Entertainment, 1999)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8 out of 10)
This Portuguese band traveled to Sweden in order to have their technical, dynamic, progressive death metal recorded by Anders Friden and mixed by Fredrik Nordstrom -- all in the famous Fredman Studio in Gothenburg. This was a very good decision, even though Malevolence don't sound very Swedish, because thanks to Friden and Nordstrom, _Martyrialized_ boasts a clean, powerful sound that perfectly suits what Malevolence's occasionally keyboard-enhanced style requires. The band's considerable musical skill and creativity shines through the whole album, but unfortunately its nine tracks only last for a total of 30 minutes, while the ideal length for their style would have been something around 40 minutes, in my opinion. Maybe the financial cost of recording at the Fredman Studio took its toll -- time literally is money. However, the songs themselves are usually around the three minute mark, as they aren't made of choruses or riffs which the band repeats over and over again ad nauseum to make them last longer. Therefore, I haven't deducted any marks for the album's short duration, regardless of what caused it. _Martyrialized_ also features an interesting instrumental track and a nice keyboard-based song with drums and vocals on top, both of which add some more variety to an already varied and dynamic album. Despite a few less inspired passages, with _Martyrialized_, Malevolence have proven to be a very talented band, and I think their next release can still be better.

Contact: Maquiavel Music Entertainment, P.O. Box 172,

(article published 5/3/2000)

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