"Dead Man's Path" is the 12th full-length studio album by US death metal act Malevolent Creation and the first since "Invidious Dominion" from 2010. The album was released through Century Media Records in October 2015. There´s been one lineup change since the predecessor as Justin DiPinto, who was also the band´s drummer in the 2002-2003 period, has returned to the fold and has replaced Gus Rios.
The overall musical style featured on the album is unmistakably the sound of Malevolent Creation. Aggressive thrash tinged death metal with the distinct sounding intelligible growling vocals by Brett Hoffmann in front. The album opens with the slow paced, brutal, and ultra heavy title track, which to my ears is a real treat, but already on the next track "Soul Razer", we´re treated to the more fast-paced death metal that Malevolent Creation are usually associated with. So stylistically "Dead Man's Path" is pretty much business as usual.
Quality wise I´d say the material on the 10 track, 44:31 minutes long album is in the better end of the band´s output. The above mentioned title track, "Blood of the Fallen" and especially the furiously fast-paced and aggressive "Imperium (Kill Force Rising)" are among the highlights, but the material is strong throughout. The music is further enhanced by a very well sounding production, which is raw, brutal, and powerful, but also detailed and clear enough to hear everything that´s being played/sung.
The band are as well playing as ever and it´s hard not to be impressed by how tight and fast-playing they are. Hoffmann also sounds better than ever and delivers his hoarse growling vocals to perfection. Upon conclusion "Dead Man's Path" is a very effective, hard edged, and aggressive death metal release (with many nods toward the brutal end of the thrash metal spectrum). The quality of the compositions is high, the musicianship strong, and the sound production professional and powerful sounding, so a 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.