Malevolent Creation

Warkult

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Seminal, prolific, and well nigh indestructible despite having weathered more musician turnover than Spinal Tap (at least 16 people have played in the band at one point or another) in their 15-year career, Malevolent Creation have, if nothing else, proved themselves to be as permanent as the genre itself. 2004's Warkult is something like their tenth LP of original material, and, although guitarist Phil Fasciana is now the sole remnant from 1991's debut The Ten Commandments, the band's corrosive brand of classic American death metal remains relatively intact. New school, meet the old school -- this is what death metal was originally built on: speedy, post-thrash riffing slung to lower depths of tuning and frequent time changes, and, certainly in Malevolent Creation's case, rough but generally intelligible cookie-monster vocals (if you really have to pay attention to the lyrics). Holding steadfast along these lines, Warkult (which, as its title would suggest, delves almost exclusively into subjects of warfare) gets going on a quickly building intro called "Dead March" before vomiting forth ferocious standouts like "Preemptive Strike," "Supremacy Through Annihilation," and "Shock and Awe." None of these will probably ever be considered absolute genre classics, but still deliver head-banging, fist-pumping, teeth-gnashing moments of death metal ecstasy, while bringing a welcome sense of continuity to Malevolent Creation's ongoing mission. [Most versions of Warkult also featured a bonus track called "Jack the Ripper" -- a cover of obscure Australian metal band Hobbs Angel of Death.]

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