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MALEVOLENCE: trepanation of the skull

I’m extremely proud to present my collaboration with Portugal’s legendary extreme death metal band MALEVOLENCE! The band is readying their third album titled “Antithetical,” which will be released later this year, and they were super kind to spend some time with me and discuss the new outing! We talked about their comeback, their first album since 1999’s “Martyrialized”, brand new video, one extra single and more.

The new chapter of MALEVOLENCE brings back the good old emotionally driven death metal with a double dose of massiveness. The new charge is overwhelming, yet astonishing with its progressiveness. Highly recommended for all the extreme metal worshippers out there!

Hello gentlemen! It’s so good to have you here [smiles].

My recent fuckup regarding your name drove me to conduct this interview and let me and my readers learn more about the Portuguese MALEVOLENCE. Not the Sheffield’s, New Zealand’s, Canadian, Dutch, or the one from Pittsburgh, PA [smiles]. Do you realize how many MALEVOLENCEs are there? [laughs]

First, HELLO to you, HELLO to all your readers!

Secondly it’s good to know that WE, MALEVOLENCE, the PORTUGUESE act, at least caught your interest to conduct this interview [laughs]. In fact this is our nineteenth year in existence as MALEVOLENCE and we know there are others around with the same moniker. That does not even stress us out because we know our sound is quite distinct and unique since our inception in comparison to all the others. On the other hand it looks like the forename MALEVOLENCE is so strong and superior when in comparison to thousands of others available, that so many bands decide to identify their own work with the same classification [smiles]. By all means, we are extremely sure: as far as the Portuguese Extreme Progressive Metal sound boosts – WE are the single FUEL!

Wow, dude. Let’s roll, then! [smiles]

You’re back! Right? I mean, besides a few live performances, you’ve been practically out of the metal scene since 1999! What happened? How come you’ve been waiting so long with “Antithetical”, your new album?

We constantly have to balance our extreme daily work routines with all our music pursuits. Contrary to what one might think this lengthy period between official releases had a completely positive result on the final outcome. We had the chance to develop the tools to mature the songs throughout all the process projecting the music beyond all our initial expectations. We never considered this interlude as a down time period ‘cause in fact we have never left and we have been active through all that time. Thinking in reverse we acknowledge the period between 2003-2010 as a very specific moment in time that was absolutely necessary to focus energy into writing the best thing we’ve ever done: ANTITHETICAL.

Ok, mysterious [smiles]. Last time I remember you were part of Maquiavel Records roster. How does the distribution sphere look like today?

Our previous album, the 2nd full length effort MARTYRIALIZED was licensed to MAQUIAVEL MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT. They made a tremendous professional work back to us all over the world. MARTYRIALIZED was recorded in FREDMAN STUDIO (mixed/mastered by FREDRIK NORDSTROM) and we feel very proud of that particular metal effort. We had for the very first time a very decent promotion and distribution and we can safely state MARTYRIALIZED was our break through effort letting the masses know about MALEVOLENCE. In terms of the upcoming release of our 3rd album ANTITHETICAL we know the album will be available all over the place. In comparison with the previous distribution we had this means the processes are way superior in 2013. These days you have the digital distribution networks as well as the streaming services and its way easier to let people know about your music on all levels.

What formats are you releasing it on?

Huh! The formats! One of the main reasons why we took this time, even more time to come out with an agreement between us and the next label that will propel our music & visual art outside! One of the main goals we had for the release of ANTITHETICAL was to come out with some unexpected and dignifying formats for our new work. This time besides the regular formats, the label involved will push the ANTITHETICAL project forward creating some very unique solutions. Solutions we presented and discussed throughout many occasions along the negotiations. Even the PROMO version for the media will be something quite unusual for this type of market & music. There is an undisclosed idea on the works as we speak to create a very, very special limited edition never before seen on the market! Let us see if we all will be able to turn everything creative into a real DELUXE product for the real fan!

[smiles] Something tells me you’re not telling me everything [smiles]

Anyway, let’s move on. The new track, Devoured Unlimited, sounds really intensive! What inspired you guys to create such a hammer?

Thank for putting it that way! Outstanding to know it sounds like a HAMMER [smiles]! ANTITHETICAL in terms of scope demonstrates a comprehensive glance to many backgrounds, environments and personal experiences. The main theme illustrates a razor-sharp concept inspired from Ancient Greek Etymology (1580s, from Gk. ANTITHETIKOS). Supported by that thesis, ANTITHETICAL was constructed entrenching the ART OF CONFLICT and DEVOURED UNLIMITED contributes for the overall concept drawing a parallel among WARS. We have been able to amalgamate each song by complementing each other to create a very powerful soundtrack bond. Taking character from solid facts we were able to blend the individual songs on the new album by projecting them as real audiovisual episodes. In this sense DEVOURED UNLIMITED depicts the irony of ARBEIT MACHT FREI with the flagellation brought to the world by the NAZI regime. What you get on this song besides the HAMMER characteristic mentioned [smiles] is an audio (visual) where you can easily be transported to the field of battle! We have been able to replicate the precedent atrocities known to men with the present state of destruction (of everything) that is natural to a large extent like a movie.  You can straightforwardly sense the energy of soldiers devouring each other under a barrage of bullets or even feel the power of panzers decimating and marching forward. Characterizing the song as a HAMMER, therefore, sounds accurately realistic!

Ha! Any plans to release a video for the song, just like you did with the “Slithering”? This would obviously be a perfect form of promotion. How has the world of music promotion changed for you guys since the last attempt of spreading your music and message back in the old days. How do you feel about social media to promote your art? How do you use it?

In fact we have something in store for DEVOURED UNLIMITED! We are working unto the project now and if we like the final results this might be a future possibility. The structure, the content and the overall atmosphere of DEVOURED UNLIMITED asks for something more than the story model we by now unleashed. In fact we do not look to these sustaining formats as vehicles of promotion like so many others do. We do this because we feel the necessity to explore our own capacities in diverse creative levels. The same as the true passion we have for the music we do! Nowadays it’s a lot easier on all levels to spread something you do. Once you press the button it goes viral and reaches worldwide in a couple of seconds. This is certainly good for musicians and fans alike!

Let’s go back to the „ARBEIT MACHT FREI” message. It might be taken as a controversial trick, to be honest. Aren’t you afraid of the presumptive criticism of such delicate topics?

We see your point and we know what you mean! However we really do not care about what pseudo journalism or uninformed people can consider controversial or not! The same goes for the presumed potential criticism in the absence of further analysis. MALEVOLENCE since 1994 stands proud to deliver music with determination and passion through artistic significance. We feel that to construct memorable art while dwelling in the vast artistic ground, no individual or collective artist shall feel restricted by some kind of boundary. What is controversial or chocking for one might be entertaining for the next and the same goes for the delicacy of so many other subjects! At least with music we are creating powerful entertainment and not ordering people into the gas chamber. If the real fan cares to listen and appreciate why a track like DEVOURED UNLIMITED links with the ARBEIT MACHT FREI connotation there’s no reason for a parental advisory sticker! On the other hand if we get radical activists criticizing what we do, or the way we do it, we just have to state: we are not forcing any person to engage in our artistic view! If people do not like it or feel offended by something they just need to change the channel! As simple as that!

So where on the road are you taking your message and stylistics? What are your touring plans?

First we want to see how people will react to the official release of ANTITHETICAL. Then we will be able to see and consider where people are the most interested in checking out the band live. At this earlier stage we are definitively open to play anywhere around the World. Our main interest is to play some selected individual dates and possibly some selected festivals, even if we have a member on the band that does not feel that much enthusiastic about Touring and playing live!

What about the visual part of your upcoming shows? Do you have anything special planned?

The visual side we created under special circumstances to propel everything related with the concept of the new album dictates that we must replicate a similar proposal on stage(s). ANTITHETICAL is a gigantic project that is always under development. This album already set the tone for the rest of our career so every detail requires a lot of dedication and determination. What we can advance at this point is that we are involved in creating something twisted and eye catching to go along with all the contrasts expressed in ANTITHETICAL in terms of positive and negative extremes. Every new project we engage (into) must include the music, the lyrics and the imagery while unifying everything into one. Maybe people will have as much fun with the live results as we have in all the processes related with the artistic endeavors of the new album.

Any plans to play some shows already? Any locations that you haven’t performed at that you would love to experience?

We have been challenged with sequential interest to play live down here in Portugal. Our first live show in something like 10 years or so was when we shared the stage with MORBID ANGEL, THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, IHSAHN and KALMAH. That one was remarkable on many levels and since that one we received a proposal to support a CANNIBAL CORPSE slot and been offered to play some Portuguese Festivals! However some of those offers came when we were finishing the recordings for ANTITHETICAL and we obviously declined while others more recently were not able to match the conditions of our BOOKING. MALEVOLENCE is open to play almost everywhere when there is the interest from professional promoters that can manage to fulfill the established live show conditions. We never played in POLAND and this would be a very interesting soil to spread our new live stage performance. We have always heard that you have a strong metal scene and we know a couple of your really good metal bands since our inception. To be able to travel in there and share the stage with some of those would be quite outstanding. JAPAN and BRAZIL also comes to mind but we are open to go almost everywhere!

Great! What else, gentlemen? Would you like to add anything else to our brief introduction to MALEVOLENCE a.d. 2013? [smiles]

We are absolutely not in the year of the Lord but we understand your way of mocking around it as A.D. 2013 [laughs]. As perfect gentlemen specimen extracted and arising from the filth [smiles] we just want to show our slow, deep and hard gratitude back to IDIOTEQ for taking the time to listen to our music and liking it enough to come out with such interesting questions. Indeed, this is the very first interview we provide out to Poland in more than a decade so this was an extreme pleasure on many levels! We wish all the best in terms of extreme endeavors for all the IDIOTEQ projects and visions upon the future! The more extreme the best goes out as well to all the Polish fans, radios and magazines supporting us since the very beginning!

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