Although dated by its production, there is no denying the early origins of Death Metal contained within MALEVOLENT CREATION’s debut album. Originally from Buffalo NY, the band relocated to the hotbed of Death Metal at the time in Florida and went about creating a whirlwind of brutality and alacrity which was to equal that of just about any of their peers. Beginning with a slow tome over thunder and lightning accompanied by spoken word, “Memorial Arrangements” is like many openers for MC: a dirge that sets you up to be slammed by their force in the second cut on the album, and so it is as we are dragged ferociously into “Premature Burial”, with its gallop and crush. One of the elements that separate “The Ten Commandments” and a lot of MC’s work over the years is the ability to decipher Brent Hoffman’s lyrics as he shouts them as opposed to the ubiquitous growl of Death Metal; in this sense they are more in the vein of POSSESSED then say CANNIBAL CORPSE.
This has all the signature MALEVOLENT CREATION aspects throughout, from the militaristic riffing to the pounded rhythms that keep everything racing and conjure images of yore when men of Metal lined the front of shows in leather to do nothing but raise their fists and bang their heads mercilessly. Tempos shift, solos wail and air is compressed in the dank address of filthy Death. You could do a hell of a lot worse than to have this playing to get yourself ready for a night of sheer viciousness.
As with so many Death Metal albums, this has Scott Burns brilliant hands all over it, from the stupendous distortion to the clean solos. Though it may need a re-release one day, it still stands for me as one of the finest Death Metal albums of its era, and a must have for fans of the genre.
(Online April 14, 2008)