Monday, February 4, 2013

Malevolent Creation - In Cold Blood (1997)

After a dull start with new vocalist/long time bassist, Jason Blachowicz ala 'Eternal', MC made a rather brutal return with 1997's 'In Cold Blood'. This album also marked the only time the band would work with then newbie, Derrik Roddy and former Raped Ape and Paingod guitarist, John Paul Soars. I must say, I've never bought into the hype, but on this album (as well as Hate Eternal's 'King of All Kings'), Roddy was on some shit. Outstanding fills and peculiar offbeats are practically non-existent on this album but there is no shortage of clever nuances to be picked up on by the observant few. Roddy, like Dave Culross before him, seems to favor a more straightforward approach. The result is somewhat bland and clinical sounding. Sure, there's nothing terribly wrong with that method but it comes across as too "safe" sounding and ultimately takes away from the atmosphere of the riffs, lending a sort of nonchalance to the proceedings. Here, though, Roddy's technique pays off and the end result is absolutely crushing.

MC really hasn't sounded this vengeful before or since. All in all, I would probably pick 'The Ten Commandments' as the essential MC album to own, but 'In Cold Blood' would be a close second as it is such an aural adrenaline rush to withstand.

One of the few minor gripes I have with this album are the vocals of Jason Blachowicz. His are truly a double edged sword. On one end of the spectrum he possesses the kind of, "command" that I normally prefer a death metal vocalist to have, on the other hand, his delivery is supremely monotonous as he never seems to shift or fluctuate along with the lyrical patterns in any interesting way. It just all comes out in one long straight line. The only thing that keeps my head from detonating as a result of the monotony is the fact that indeed, his vocals are quite brutal and for the most part go well with the stylistic approach of MC during this particular era of their existence. Don't expect the raspier shriek of Brett Hoffmann here, folks. This is more in line with Glen Benton's brand of bark. A more "shoutier" low end.

While MC will never be accused of being a "technical" death metal band, they certainly aren't ever dry on riffs and this album showcases some of the band's best. As I mentioned earlier, 'In Cold Blood' is without a doubt the band's most uncompromisingly brutal release. Whereas the first four albums sound like a thrash metal band "experimenting" with a more aggressive sound, ICB is a thoroughly relentless sonic bludgeoning that must have taxed the band immensely and drained the tank dry as they've never quite been able to match the colossal weight of this album since, opting instead to go back to the thrashier sound of their earlier works.

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