Sheffield, England's Malevolence have seemingly been shot out of a cannon in recent years.
Globe trotting in support of their 2022 studio album Malicious Intent (available worldwide via Nuclear Blast), popping on high profile support runs for the likes of Jinjer, Trivium, Heaven Shall Burn and earning prominent festival slots at Knotfest and Download, the British beasts of metallic hardcore have earned their newfound prominence across 12 years of paying dues.
"I feel like, you know, we've earned our stripes and now we're kind of reaping the rewards from it, and it's sick," shared frontman Alex Taylor in a sit down with Metal Injection.
"I'm so excited for everything that's coming up, and I'm still kind of playing catch up a little bit in the last 12, 18 months because some of the stuff we've had the opportunity to do this year is just blowing my mind. We've been grinding for a long time, so I kind of feel like this is like what we've been working towards and obviously you're still just super grateful for all the opportunities that we're being thrown."
Malicious Intent, Malevolence's first album since 2017's chaotic Self Supremacy, sees the band operating at the heights of their aggressive meets melancholic powers, a genre mash of styles and influences that earned wide-spread critical praise.
"We really kind of wanted to demonstrate what we were capable of with this album," shared Taylor. "We pride ourselves on writing fast, aggressive, heavy metal bangers, but also like I want to make some music as well so that you can stand in the back of the venue and bawl your eyes out to. I like having that versatility and the ability to kind of switch between both and join them both together and have that contrast. But yeah, when we sat down to write, we knew that we wanted to have that kind of broad coverage across all of the things that inspire us and bring it all to the table."
Nearing the 10 year anniversary of their debut offering Reign of Suffering, and Taylor reflects on the chasm of space between the then teenaged artists finding their way in the UK hardcore underground, to the well-travelled scene vets they are today.
"I'm still very proud of that record. The amount that we got to do off the back of that record alone kind of speaks for itself. It took us to places. We never thought we would be like touring the world and seeing all these amazing places and meeting all these amazing people. I definitely think as musicians, though, we've matured a lot and that shows in the music," Taylor admits.
"When we wrote those songs, I was like 18, 19 years old. I had a different view of the world, I had different opinions back then, and I was still maturing into a young adult. So for me personally, when I listen to them songs, I think, yeah, I wouldn't want to sing about that now. But then again, it was a reflection of how I was feeling at the time.
"You sometimes get a bit cringe when you listen back to the songs, but then you think, you know what that's who I was at the time, and I think every band probably has that a little bit. But like I said, we're 100% our own worst critics, but I think also as time has gone on, we've got a lot better at kind of not being so harsh on ourselves and kind of taking a step back and appreciating what we've done and the music that we've created."
Smack-dab in the midst of a U.S. trek with red-hot Ukrainian metal titans Jinjer – with UK and European dates on deck in early '23 with longtime inspirations in Trivium – and Malevolence seemingly is set to take the global metal scene by storm.
That leap from dank and dingy mosh factory venues to arenas and festival grounds may have come at the result of years of tireless work, but Taylor and his band of brutal brothers continue to appreciate all sides of the journey.
"This last year we've played the biggest shows we've ever done and I've had so much fun doing that. It's been really cool to play to new people, to insight chaos on an arena sized scale. But yeah, you know, they're just two very different beasts and I'm grateful that we get to do both. I'll never shy away from playing in a small, intimate sweat box because I love them shows. They're crazy. And sometimes you get some of the best memories ever from them shows," Taylor shared, adding his appreciation for the opportunity to cause chaos on a much larger scale today.
"However, I will say I have really enjoyed this year when we've been playing the big shows. It's been fun seeing how big we can get circle pits. That's one of my favorite things about playing these big shows is you've got a lot more space to make a lot more people do a lot more crazy shit. So as long as everybody's leaving with a smile on the face and not in the back of an ambulance, then I'm good."
And fans of the band won't have to wait long for their next Malevolence fix, as Taylor shared that we can expect more tunes "very quickly."
"I actually finished recording the vocals for our new project two days ago," he reveals with a laugh. "We've learned our lesson. We can't be having three year gaps in between each release, so we're keeping the hot trend going, baby!"
w/ Jinjer, P.O.D. & Space of Variations
12/20 Phoenix, AZ – Van Buren
12/21 Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues
12/22 Los Angeles, CA – Wiltern
w/ Trivium & Heaven Shall Burn
1/12 Glasgow, UK – O2 Academy
1/13 Birmingham, UK – O2 Academy
1/14 Manchester, UK – O2 Victoria Warehouse
1/15 London, UK – O2 Academy Brixton
w/ Heaven Shall Burn, Trivium & Obituary
1/17 Tilburg, NET – O13
1/18 Saarbrücken, GER – Saarlandhalle
1/20 Düsseldorf, GER – Mitsubishi Electric Halle
1/21 Erfurt, GER – Messe
1/22 Prague, CZE – Forum Karlín
1/23 Warsaw, POL – Stodola
1/25 Helsinki, FIN – House of Culture
1/27 Stockholm, SWE – Fållan
1/28 Copenhagen, DEN – Amager Bio
1/29 Germany, Leipzig, GER – Haus Auensee
1/31 Brussels, BEL – AB
2/1 Paris, FRA – L’Olympia
2/3 Bilbao, SPA – Santana 27
2/4 Lisbon, POR – Sala Tejo
2/5 Madrid, SPA – La Riviera
2/7 Barcelona, SPA – Razzmatazz
2/8 Lyon, FRA – Le Transbordeur
2/10 Ludwigsburg, GER – MHP Arena
2/11 Hamburg , GER – Sporthalle
2/12 Berlin, GER – Verti Music Hall
2/14 Budapest, HUN – Barba Negra
2/15 Vienna, AUT – Gasometer
2/17 Munich, GER – Zenith
2/18 Zurich, SWI – Samsung Hall
2/19 Milano, ITA – Alcatraz
2/20 Frankfurt, GER – Jahrhunderthalle