Written by Carcassbomb
Depravity – Grand Malevolence
Death Metal from Perth, Australia
Released December 4th, 2020
Via Transcending Obscurity Records
Grand Malevolence is the death metal album I’ve been waiting for this year. Many have come and gone, some solid albums but even with Necrot and Ulcerate releasing huge albums I was still reserving my fandom for something specific and until now, undefined. It’s a big boy, with many five minute songs making up forty-nine minutes total but not a minute is wasted. Depravity are a machine that will keep force feeding you your own shit the whole time then at the end you’ll doff your hat and thank them.
Too often I’ve found myself being impatient listening to a death metal album, there’s just not enough change or it lacks a sense of purpose whereas with this beast I’m always content to let the music unfold with full trust that I will be well served. The blast-beats on this fucking thing have a lot of presence to them, realy kicky, sometimes it’s an all out show of force and sometimes they spatter across your face like rain drops. Sorry, I meant blood drops? Cum drops? I know I’m not supposed to use serene imagery like rainfall when discussing death metal.
Australia just gets it, whatever genre it is, you can bet we have some of the best there is on offer. We’re a dark minded people, we spew forth in our creativity rather than flower it, the very first track “Indulging Psychotic Thought” evokes the classic anti-authority mentality of many Australians with brutal depictions of prisoners overpowering screws with improvised weapons and taking over the prison. A metaphor discussing the conversion of strength from the doG to the underdog. Other songs include similar themes such as religious zealots overrunning politics during a chaotic time so they can profit and sell out the whole world, you know… that thing currently happening? Generally speaking, this is a great album thematically for anyone who feels at odds with the world they were involuntarily forced into, which is something many people can relate to regardless of their upbringing or even political leaning. Personally, I love me some anti-religion, anti-capitalist death metal with a gore riddled fantasy.
After listening a few times and reading the lyrics I perceive this as a very cathartic album for the band both in writing and playing. There’s an uncompromised expression here made possible by earnest writing and talented musicians. I can’t imagine any death metal fans turning their nose up at this one. It sounds equally inspired by new and modern death – with it’s own identity. Something the average band struggles to achieve where Depravity have pretty much entered the world this way considering their first LP from 2018 “Evil Upheaval” is basically on par with this second record.
‘Hallucination Aflame’ is perhaps my favorite track although it is hard to pick one out when the album feels like a solid unit. The way everything sits in the mix feels right and tight. I could use multiple descriptors at once as Grand Malevolence manages to simultaneously drill, bludgeon, blast and buzz. The drumming is so punchy, the guitars are a dynamic flurry and the vocals act as a caustic volcano flooding every crevice the song writing provides. The only thing I’m not really able to pick out of the sound is the bass but I can guarantee if you took them away I’d feel it, I think the main priority for the bass here was to chunk up the riffs and I’d say it worked because even without gratuitous fancy bass solos, this album never presents as lacking anything.
Just pre-order the vinyl, fuck it. I grabbed a tape.
Added to my objectively awesome Aus metal playlist.