Monday, February 4, 2013

Malevolent Creation - The Fine art of Murder (1998)

After the absolutely relentless beating that was 1997's In Cold Blood, Malevolent Creation returned the following year with The Fine Art of Murder. This album marked the return of original vocalist Brett Hoffmann as well as on again/off again axe slinger, Rob Barrett and drummer Dave Culross. I've never understood why so many of MC's members persist on leaving the band only to return a few years later, as if whatever it was that they were pursuing fell through and like a slacker, knew that they could rely on MC to take them back in. This has happened within the band's ranks an abnormal amount of times with numerous members.

As one would rightfully assume, TFAOM is a return (for the most part) to the sound of the original trio of MC albums, all of which featured returning vocalist Hoffmann. The biggest difference here is the production, which was executed by then-go to death metal guy, Brian Griffin, he of Broken Hope fame. As was the case with the majority of the albums he produced (Disfigured, Internal Bleeding, Fleshgrind, etc...), the sound here is extremely thin and tinny. Riff-wise, this album can be viewed as a continuation of the band's previous longrunner, In Cold Blood, though largely due to the production, this album lacks a bit of the ferocity of ICB.

There's a really cringe inducing attempt at an acoustic song on here and some of the riffs are unbelievably lame but there's something about this album that keeps me coming back. Hell, there's even something about some of those lame ass riffs that I find oddly appealing.

Also of note is the fact that after MC was dropped by Roadrunner, apparently they could no longer afford the services of Dan Seagrave and thus began a long run of adorning their albums with some of the most horrendously inept covers known to Man, starting with 'Eternal'. The Fine Art of Murder is no exception and may quite possibly showcase the lamest album cover in the band's career.

This is pretty much the last MC album that I paid any significant amount of attention to. The album after this, 'Envenomed', was decent enough, and maybe even perhaps a couple of notches higher than this in the intensity department, but for some reason or another, failed to keep my interest and after seeing photos of the band and their queer looking new vocalist with the douche-bag haircut, indicating that, once again, Brett Hoffmann got chumped and kicked to the curb, I decided not to even bother anymore with Malevolent Creation. Even with Hoffmann back in fold (yet again) I haven't been able to conjure even the slightest amount of interest in the band. For all intents and purposes, TFAOM is pretty much where I bailed, though that certainly doesn't reflect my opinion of this particular album, which I must say is mighty good, if not grrrrreat!

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