Home Gigs Gig Review : Malevolence : Malicious Intent Tour Rescue Rooms : Nottingham

Gig Review : Malevolence : Malicious Intent Tour Rescue Rooms : Nottingham

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Review & Photography by Manny Manson for MPM

Concussive, seismic waves are being felt across continents, the seismographs are going daft in Edinburgh, and wild in the thousands of other stations dotted around the globe, the epi-centre pinpoints a likely suspect at, 52°57′22″N, 001°09′13″W, Nottingham’s very own ‘Rescue Rooms’, The not so little sister to Rock City, which has come of age and grown into a venue quickly becoming known for hosting activities of ground shaking proportions.

The cause tonight? Three giants in the world of Metal have come into conjunction and brought about an evening of brutal annihilation, as circle pits collide with the tsunami of thunderous beats and deathly hallowed growls. The night of quality metal being greeted by many with eager anticipation as Sheffield’s Rough Justice and Long Island’s Pain of Truth are the undercard to possibly one of the U.K.’s best Metalcore bands, the mighty, Malevolence, also hailing from Sheffield, a mere 50 minutes up the road, are here on their Malicious Intent album tour.

Malevolence have had a great 2023, with support slots with Trivium in January and their own tour in November, stating that come the new year they would be back, and boy are they back. Having formed in 2010, they released their first long player, ’Reign Of Suffering’, in 2013, this embedded the name in the forefront of the UK Metalcore scene as they went on to support bands such as ‘Obey the Brave’, ‘Dying Fetus’ and the extreme metal band ‘Goatwhore’. The sophomore album ‘Self Supremacy’ followed in 2017 and again it received critical acclaim from the fans. They again toured extensively and played Download in 2019. Their own record label emerged in late 2019, MLVLTD Music, which meant they could retain full creative control of their music. The third album ‘Malicious Intent’ was released in May 2022 and continued this South Yorkshire quintet’s quest for delivering music that was true to themselves and their fans. This sold-out tour is proof that this band has a huge following and that there is definitely more in the tank.

Up first though we have a fellow Sheffield band, ROUGH JUSTICE, who have been around for a few years, having released a Demo back in 2012 and followed that up with a string of E.P.s in 2012, 2013, and 2016 before finally delivering the much-awaited debut album ‘Faith In Vain’ in 2024. Some critics slammed it for only being 24 minutes long, hardly long enough to be a long player say some, but brutally aggressive enough for the listener to zone out, and be brutalised thankful in that it isn’t longer.

The band of 5, James Tippett on vocals, Elliot Reynolds and Ed Armitage on guitars, Harry Green on bass, and Malevolence’s own guitarist Josh Baines on the drums, gets the night away to a cacophony of thundering beats with ‘Coward,’ the opening track to the debut album, ‘Faith In Vain’. The bass from mask-wearing Mr Green is rearranging your internals as Mr Tippett’s paces the stage getting himself psyched up before bludgeoning the crowd with a deluge of aggressive vocals.

The guitars have the subtly of an out-of-control chainsaw as the opener goes through several time changes whilst Mr Tippett’s laments about choosing his enemies. Rule one-oh-one on stagecraft, ‘Go out there and pin ’em to the back wall, take no prisoners!’….check! Make no mistake, this is a band that knows who they are and can deliver the goods, by the truck load.

‘Overruled’ again from the debut album, but also the early 2012 E.P. ‘Minds Eye’, continues to smash the senses. A circle pit has quickly opened up and within it, demons are being excitedly exorcised. The band, intermittently lit with blinding lights, have their heads down and are digging deep with their down-tuned filthy riffs, there is a melody which bobs and sways amidst time signature changes, but who cares when the pressure waves are ripping your ribs open and smearing your dinner over the back wall.

This is fast, relentless and thoroughly absorbing, we get a slower spoken phrase whilst we catch our breath and then we’re off again, the breath being squeezed from our lungs until its timely demise, a quick inhale and we set off with again ‘Backwards Mask’ this is another chainsaw of guitars and blast beats. It’s got heads nodding from those on the barrier, whilst behind them there is turmoil as dad dancing is taken to the extreme.

‘Rusting’ continues and I decide to venture into the lion’s den and try and get a picture from the mosh pit! ouch! saved by the lads behind as I get bounced around as this one slams on into ‘When It Comes,’ after the somewhat safe start. I make sure I’m back against the wall before I get brutalised further, lesson learned, well for tonight anyways. The staccato guitars make way for a doom-laden brutality that reminds me of Conan, albeit on speed. With hoodie now removed Tippett’s explains about their good friend Milo who has been put into an induced coma, the empathy for this poor chap can be felt as he continues to tell the crowd that they have a QR code set up for anyone who wants to contribute to his, hopefully, speedy recovery.

With that said the track ‘Akrasia’ follows, from 2016’s EP ‘Hell Is Other People’, a fitting tribute? Nevertheless, it’s a raucous tsunami of sound with a great fuzzed guitar riffing out over the breakdown. Another juicy headbanger of a tune, there’s some nice interplay from the guitars including a great bit of controlled feedback and harmonised pinched harmonics, it’s obvious that these lads haven’t just been noodling in their bedrooms, as their nasty riffs bring the end of this earlier song.

The final track is introduced as the single from the album, the title track ‘Faith In Vain,’ flattens the crowd with nasty guitars and a controlled, aggressive vocal (sic), which switches into a clean voice before ripping your head off once more. Thundering bass and fast feet keep the wall of power pressing you hard, the twin guitars swirl around, at times having an almost Eastern vibe, something the vocal is certainly not, as it rubs itself firmly in your face with unbridled ferocity.

The hanging guitars die out and the set concludes, bringing about cheers and claps from the happy crowd. That was how you open a show, no niceties, no excuse me’s’, just straight down to business, BANG! Great stuff, this has been a set showcasing the old and the new, a relentless assault on the senses which is set to continue with Long Islands ‘Pain Of Truth’.

After the usual speedy change over, helped by the fact the first two bands are sharing a drum kit, the lights fizzle and we get America’s Hardcore Metallers, formed in the heart of Long Island’s hardcore scene, the band has been stirring up a storm with their unapologetic aggression and raw energy. As the lights dim and the crowd brace themselves, Pain of Truth waste no time in unleashing their fury, a proverbial powerhouse of hardcore, as they take to the stage with a ferocity that leaves no room for mercy. Opening with ‘Blood On Your Hands’, the band set the tone with a blistering pace and brutal delivery. The relentless drumming, thundering basslines, and razor-sharp guitars create a wall of sound that engulfs the crowd, leaving some gasping for air amidst the chaos. I’m instantly taken back to when I saw Anthrax on their first UK tour all those years ago.

The onslaught didn’t stop there, but then I never expected it too. ‘Lifeless On The Ground’ follows suit, delivering a continued relentless barrage of power and aggression that once again, leaves no room for respite. The band’s tight cohesion and unwavering intensity keep the energy levels soaring, as the circle pit erupts as bodies collide in a whirlpool of chaos, like Medusa’s hair, limbs twist and contort, occasionally being picked up, the security’s eyes are glued to the going’s on, these lads mean business to and are ready to wade in and save it all getting too messy.

‘In Your Heart’ see’s the intensity escalate even further, with a pounding groove and throbbing basslines driving the crowd on in seemingly orgasmic delights, a sea of smiles, nodding heads and raised fists bounce to the devastating beat pulsing, relentlessly from the stage. As the lights strobe and backline slams home, Michael Smith seizes the moment and throws his microphone into the circle pit, allowing a fan to growl the lyrics before tossing it back with a roar of approval. The band’s earlier work, like ‘The Test’ from their first EP from 2020, continues to deliver the same dramatic, hard-hitting chaos that has become their trademark. This entwined with their newer material showcases their evolution as a band.

‘This Falls On You’ from their latest LP “Not Through Blood”, released in 2022, once again has the crowd bouncing and thrashing in unison as the band’s dark, brooding beats devour the venue in a haze of aggression and pummelling intensity. I’ve learnt from my earlier mistake and stay safely ensconced behind the pit barrier out of harm’s way. ‘Scarred’ another from the 2020 E.P. smashes the senses with the relentless attack of gut-wrenching drum beats and nasty riffs with the vocals having more attitude than a pubescent teen as this oldie attempts to rip your face off as its delivery holds no mercy.

‘Actin Up’ from the latest release, set its stall out firmly, chugging chainsaw guitars and a brutal, breathless vocal has the circle pit going nuts, lights are all over the place as the frayed vocals destroy the aural senses. ‘Snake In Disguise,’ with its relentless assault of blistering riffs and guttural screams continues to shake you to the core. Smith and the band tear through the song with unbridled ferocity, screaming guitars and vocals have the crowd reeling, caught in the grip of Pain of Truth’s uncompromising, ferocity of sound and they love it.

Closing out their set with ‘LINYHC’ and the self-titled track ‘Pain of Truth’, released on first E.P. ‘No Blame Just Facts’ leaves you in no doubt about their place at the forefront of Long Island’s hardcore scene. With their relentless energy, unapologetic aggression, and undeniable talent, Pain of Truth prove that they are a force to be reckoned with.

And yet again, as the final notes hang in the air, the audience are left breathless, exhilarated, and, dare I say, hungry for more, which is just as well as Malevolence are readying themselves in the wings.

Malevolence take to the stage, headlining their ‘Malicious Intent UK Tour’ with an intensity that has the venue trembling with excitement. Supporting their album released in May 2022, the band waste no time in unleashing their signature brand of brutal metal upon the eager crowd.

Opening with the titular track ‘Malicious Intent’, Malevolence start their set off with a relentless assault of crushing riffs and thunderous beats. Alex Taylor’s vocals cut through the chaos like a blade, delivering lyrics dripping with aggression and venom. The crowd are immediately swallowed in a maelstrom of sound, their energy matching that of the band’s with every headbang and fist pump.

Continuing the onslaught, ‘Life Sentence,’ again from their latest album keeps the momentum going with its bone-crushing heaviness and ferocious delivery. The band’s live performance evident as they seamlessly trudge from one punishing track to the next, leaving no room for respite or the feint hearted. ‘Slave to Satisfaction’ from their sophomore album ‘Self Supremacy’ unleashes another torrent of raw aggression, while ‘Waste of Myself’ and ‘Karma’ further underline Malevolence’s reputation for delivering music that hits like a sledgehammer to the chest. The rapid-fire guitars and thundering feet of Charlie Thorpe power the songs forward at a breakneck speed

It’s Taylor’s brutally destructive vocal delivery that steals the show, commanding the stage in shorts showing of his leg tattoos, his dominating presence holding the crowd with each guttural growl and piercing scream, he captivates the crowd, drawing them deeper into the band’s dark and unforgiving world of slammin beats and filthy riffage.

Severed Ties’ from their 2017 sophomore album continues to rain down the aggression, this early number helps to show the band’s evolution over the years. My stand out song of the set follows, ‘Higher Place’, the new, live single featuring Espersa from Sleep Token, released earlier this year, keeps the room entranced with a delicate delivery of subdued brutal riffs and blast beats, ensuring the crowd are both breathless and exhilarated.

The title track ‘Self Supremacy’ from their sophomore album follows on. Normal service is resumed with nasty riffs, fast hands and guttural frayed vocals, refusing to give the crowd a chance to catch their breath from the crushing onslaught ‘Remain Unbeaten’ slams into them from the 2020 EP ‘The Other Side’. Its concussively violent delivery continues to shift the Earth on its axis. The relentless energy of the band is only matched by the fervour of the partisan crowd, who show no signs of slowing down.

‘Still Waters Run Deep’ from the new long player surges forth hard and fast, with drummer Charlie Thorpe’s thunderous rhythms once again driving the song forward with unrelenting force as he sweeps around the kit with devilish ease. The crowd, loud and unapologetic, bounce off each other in a frenzy of energy as the band tear through ‘Keep Your Distance’ from the 2020 EP.

Finally, returning to ‘Malicious Intent’ for the crushing finale, ‘On Broken Glass’ brings the night to a climactic close, the audience, some battered and bruised but all hungry for more let the band know it . For the third time this evening, as the final notes fade into the night, or is that the tinnitus kicking in, it was undeniable that Malevolence have delivered a performance that would be talked about as the fans made their way out of the venue on their way home. Bath nights in 2024 are getting better and better, Tee shirt purchased for the collection, I set off to listen to the playlist in the car, what a cracking night in Nottingham again.

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