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MALEVOLENT CREATION - Retribution cover
3.97 | 9 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1992


1. Eve of the Apocalypse (4:21)
2. Systematic Execution (3:28)
3. Slaughter of Innocence (3:44)
4. Coronation of Our Domain (5:06)
5. No Flesh Shall Be Spared (4:26)
6. The Coldest Survive (3:17)
7. Monster (2:40)
8. Mindlock (3:06)
9. Iced (3:58)

Total Time: 34:09


- Alex Marquez / Drums
- Jason Blachowicz / Bass
- Rob Barrett / Guitars
- Phil Fasciana / Guitars
- Brett Hoffmann / Vocals

- James Murphy / Guitars (lead) on track 4

About this release

Roadrunner Records, April 1st, 1992

Catalogue # RC 9181-2

Recorded at Criteria Recording, Miami, FL.
Mixed at Morrisound Recording, Tampa, FL.
Mastered at Fullersound, Miami, FL.
Produced by Scott Burns and Malevolent Creation.

The first 75 seconds of the album, the intro is Robert McNaughton's theme for Henry Portrait of a serial killer then comes Eve of the Apocalypse.

Miscellaneous staff:
- Dan Seagrave / Cover art
- Big Jeff / Logo
- Jason Blachowicz / Logo
- Mark Douglas / Photography
- Mike Fuller / Mastering
- Scott Burns / Producer, Engineering, Mixing
- Brett Hoffmann / Lyrics

Thanks to UMUR for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

One way that I have been becoming acquainted with extreme metal bands is by checking out playlists on YouTube, such as those with titles like “Top 25 Black Metal Songs” or “Top 50 Old School Death Metal Albums”. Along the way, I see some bands and albums showing up two or three times, and that’s when I take notice. Let’s check these guys out! One such band was Malevolent Creation.

Originally from Buffalo, New York, Malevolent Creation moved to Florida to join the fledging death metal scene. Interesting. Blonde beach babe California gives us thrash metal (well, okay, that was hippy-dippy peacenik San Francisco) and the Sunshine State gives us death metal. As for Malevolent Creation, their albums “The Ten Commandments” and “Retribution” both show up on some of those compilation lists. The CD was a little on the expensive side but the re-release on Listenable Records was labeled as an essential album, so I knew I couldn’t be wrong.

After the first listen though, I recognized that this was nothing new to my ears. It’s not because I had heard the band before until recently but that their style of music and vocals was already familiar to me. Basically, this album reminds me of Slayer’s “Hell Awaits” and Kreator’s “Pleasure to Kill”, even though I haven’t heard those albums for over 25 years (two future purchases have been concretely decided by this album here!). This is not the first old school death metal album to make me think so either. In fact, I am beginning to conclude that both Slayer and Kreator were both key influences in the early American death metal scene. There are times when I felt that some songs on “Retribution” had been inspired after learning to play Slayer songs, and the vocals gruff and barked were an attempt to bring Kreator’s vocal style to the States.

These observations don’t make this a bad album. Actually, I quite like it. It is this heavier-than-thrash and more-brutal-than-thrash sound that I enjoy. The production is rather good with each instrument audible and yet all instruments and vocals are united in a smooth, warm sphere of sound. It’s not lo-fi but it’s not crystal sharp either. The production suits the music.

Though I have no real complaints, this album cannot be a favourite of mine because except for the opening track, which plays more like an atmosphere-setting instrumental or B-movie score, all the rest of the songs just blast their way through. Song after song delivers a relentless, brutal assault with little time to slow down and drop and monster riff or throw a wild dive-bombing guitar solo at us unexpectedly. Each song becomes predictable because it uses the same formula and the previous one. Yes, the album is great to listen to from front to back but there are no standout tracks for me. And, yes, I have listened to it only twice but I got the same impression from this as I did from Morbid Angel’s “Alter of Madness”: it’s an obvious link between thrash metal and what would become of death metal.

No regrets on the money spent. A good history lesson and a good listen.
"Retribution" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US death metal act Malevolent Creation. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in April 1992, almost to date one year after the release of the band´s debut full-length studio album "The Ten Commandments (1991)". Quite a few lineup changes have taken place in that year though as Alex Marquez has replaced Mark Simpson on the drums and Rob Barrett has replaced Jeff Juszkiewicz as the band´s second guitarist. Both new members came from a stint with Solstice. Constant lineup changes would be somewhat of a trend throughout the band´s history.

Lineup changes or not, the music style isn´t that different from the music style on the debut album. It´s energetic death metal with a brutal thrashy edge. I guess "Retribution" is slightly more death metal tinged than "The Ten Commandments (1991)", but we´re talking minor details. "Retribution" is what you can safely call a death metal "classic" and it´s widely considered the best, or at least among the best albums by Malevolent Creation. Listening to "Retribution" it´s pretty obvious why that is. While the music isn´t wildly original, Malevolent Creation still have a sound that sets them apart from the pack. The brutal and energetic thrash tinged riffing is one of the reasons, but it´s probably mostly due to the distinct sounding raw/semi-growling yet completely intelligible vocals by Brett Hoffmann. The band are exceptionally well playing and especially new drummer Alex Marquez brings a more precise/aggressive rythmic attack to the band´s sound (compared to the drumming on the debut).

Tracks like "Eve of the Apocalypse", "Slaughter of Innocence" and "Coronation of Our Domain" are classics in the band´s repetoire, but "Retribution" is both a consistent and strong album throughout it´s 34:09 minutes long playing time. And yes the music isn´t the most varied or adventurous sounding in the world, but it´s delivered with great conviction and relentless aggression. The album is well produced too, featuring a typical brutal early nineties Scott Burns production, that´s designed to make your ears bleed and your bowels implode. A 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

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