Male Misandria / Malveillance - Split
Though Suffering Jesus Productions has,sadly, recently closed its doors, one of its final acts was to getout this split between Italy's oddly named Male Misandria andQuébec's Malveillance. While the uninitiated listener might find itodd to see a split between a grindcore band and a black metalproject, the similarities are apparent immediately upon listening.Both Male Misandria and Malveillance provide unrelenting and viciousblasts of musical violence that go for the throat and don't stopuntil they've tasted blood.
Male Misandria start the split off with“Magister Makeup”, an intense track which balances brutality andspeed with skill and good song writing to great effect. It providesan immediate glimpse as to the showing MM make here. The guitar toneis clear and gives every riff a clarity which allows theirmemorability and heaviness to shine. This is a definite plus giventhat the music depends heavily on the guitar; the bass is inaudible,the drumming provides what it needs to but doesn't shine, and thevocals are impassioned but don't step far out of an often seen mix ofhigher screams and lower growls. There are moments when the screamsget particularly high pitched and out of control, and that's when thevocals shine the most; “Marble Marquinia” and “Mothlife” bothprovide great examples. Though the other aspects of the music aren'tparticularly exceptional the riffing is thankfully strong. As said,they are memorable and heavy, switching up enough to keep the songsinteresting and exciting while not changing up so much that the riffsdon't make an impact. Male Misandria are strong song writers ingeneral; “Marble Marquinia” and “Mannerless Maternus Mo” havedramatic openings, “Mothlife” ends with a high speed solo, andthe way a melodic lead threads its way through tremolo picked rhythmguitar in “Male Model Merge” is reminiscent of certain types ofblack metal. The crescendo of Male Misandria's half is “Martyr”,which nears 6 minutes and is the longest track on the split. It's adramatic and complex song that shows off MM's strength as songwriters. It's full of interesting moments: it opens with an“Egyptian” sounding riff (or at least Egyptian in the bounds ofthe West's musical imagination), before shifting into black metalinspired riffs. The song has many moments that nearly hit epicterritory, and it has a very interesting bridge where atmosphericguitars and distant, echoing vocals mix with shifts between blackmetal inspired riffing and thick chords. They wrap things up with aninexplicable dark ambient/industrial track, “Masto B”, whichdoesn't make a ton of sense, but is at least solid for what it is.
Malveillance's side opens with its ownweirdness. “Rien” is an ambient track over which F(Malveillance's one and only member) simply speaks in a way thatbrings to mind a pissed off, slightly drunk man. If I understoodFrench, I might be able to read more meaning in to it, so I'll giveit the benefit of the doubt. Everysong is named after an individual. A web search got me hits on a fewof the names, who appear to be important figures in Québec of someform or another, so it seems safe to say that Malveillance's half ispossibly dedicated to a variety of influential figures in Québec'shistory. As soon as “Rien” finishes, F immediately kicksinto what Malveillance is known for: filthy D-Beat inspired blackmetal with a raw, simplistic and hateful style that is no doubtinfluenced by the work of Norway's Ildjarn. The guitar and bass havea thick and dirty raw production that I find benefit's Malveillance'ssound even more than the production on his previous release,Consentir a L'absurde. Theonly problem with the production is the drums. The cymbals have avery tinny sound; I can't decide if it's a crappy drum machine, or ifthe recording of real drums wasn't done quite right. If you can lookby it, the core of Malveillance's sound is present and as strong asever. The songs shift between one or two black/punk riffs, with athick, low end sound. As is typical of this style, the songs arepresented in some ways as variations of a theme, providing an intenseand holistic listening experience, rather than one dominated byclearly demarcated songs. I think Malveillance is one of the top actsof this style, and any fan of it should find there thirst sated byhis performance here. It's length of only 14½ minutes gives it lessvariation than Consentir a L'absurde,but it more than provides the visceral experience I look for in thiskind of music.
The split ends witha few bonus tracks from each artist. Male Misandria presents a lessrefined version of the grindcore previously. The production is muchrawer, probably because the songs were recorded in 2007. “Spazio”isn't as interesting as the earlier tracks and “Love” is yourtypical under-10-seconds grind track. “Vivere da padroni” and “ViOdio” are more interesting thrashy numbers with some audible bassactually popping up. Some synth weirdness pops up here at times mostprominently in “Vi Odio”, where it shows up in the break down andsticks around for the rest of the track. The synths are prettyawkward, and I'm glad they dropped them. Those last two song are alsoa bit over long. The bonus tracks aren't totally unwelcome, but theyreally bring to light how much MM have evolved as song writers in 4or 5 years.
Malveillance onlyhas two bonus tracks. “Cloportes Soumis” fits in with the styleof the earlier songs, and it seems like it might have fit betterthere. A cover of Crude SS's “Nazi Go Home” follows, and it'sbeen infused with the Malveillance sound so much that it's not reallyidentifiable as anything but. Still, it's a nice track that closesoff the album well.
Overall the splitis an excellent showing by both bands and I highly recommend it tofans of either, to fans of grindcore or extreme punk/black metalmixtures, or in general to anyone who likes extreme music that boilsdown to a musical punch to the face. Though Suffering Jesus' labelside is unfortunately dead, they're distro is still open, and thissplit is more than worth its cost.
Metal Archives (Malveillance) / Myspace (Malveillance) / Metal Archives (Male Misandria) / Myspace (Male Misandria) / Buy (Suffering Jesus Productions)