Malevolent Creation – Stillborn Review
by Matt Hensch
There is no such thing as a band that can constantly create masterpiece after masterpiece without a bad release. No matter how strong a band starts out, they'll eventually run out of ideas and make something not up to par with their other releases. Malevolent Creation suffered from this painful reality back in 1993 when they released the disappointing Stillborn after receiving incredible feedback from their first two albums. The fans expected another grand Malevolent Creation disc, but what they got was a poorly produced CD with faults up the ass. The title of this album pretty much sums it up: Malevolent Creation tried to give birth to another fantastic record after releasing two legendary CDs, but it was a dead effort before it was born, if that makes sense.
Malevolent Creation's first two albums had brutality and power that tested the limits of death metal and redefined the genre, yet Stillborn is the exact opposite of that because of its generic nature and lack of creativity. The guitar work is just a lame collection of repetitive riffs with foreseeable changes and no technical elements whatsoever. There are usually two riffs for each song that switch at predictable intervals with an occasional slow part thrown in. Some of the solos are ok, but most of the guitar work on Stillborn is completely forgettable.
Alex Marquez's percussion is severely restricted here because half of his performance is just simple drum patterns. There are many parts of this album that have slow beats during fast riffing, which end up sounding out of place and disorganized. Marquez brings some satisfactory aspects when he lives up to his chaotic potential, but most of those moments are rare and don't come very often. It's rather painful knowing the musical effort here could have been great, but it's instead a poorly written LP with few good features.
This record is also cursed with ghastly production that sounds totally rundown and cheap. Brett Hoffmann's vocals are way too muzzled and distorted whilst his bandmates are shrouded with faded guitar volume with an unnecessary emphasis on the drumming. The loud percussion eclipses most of the riffing and it all just sounds like chaos (in a bad way, of course) when Hoffmann's growls enter the scene. To get a better picture of Stillborn, just imagine Retribution with recycled music, distorted vocals, and awful sound quality.
Knowing the same band that created The Ten Commandments and Retribution was also responsible for this disaster is a tough pill to swallow. Just about everything else Malevolent Creation has done beats the crap out of Stillborn, so unless you truly love this band, I suggest you stay away from this album.
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Malevolent Creation – Stillborn
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