Depravity – Grand Malevolence (Review)

Depravity - Grand MalevolenceThis is the second album from Australian death metallers Depravity.

Depravity’s 2018 album Evil Upheaval was a fearsome slab of devastating death metal, so listening to their new slab of aggression was a must.

On Grand Malevolence Depravity’s brutal approach to death metal is augmented with technical enhancements and some occasional progressive flourishes. This results in songs that can strip paint at a hundred paces through sheer blistering intensity, but that somehow never manage to fall into the trap of becoming one-dimensional. How? Through strength of songwriting and delivery, and through the sort of quality of depth and longevity that’s associated with the most satisfying death metal.

Yep, amidst the furious blast beats and hyper aggression that we find on Grand Malevolence‘s 49 minutes, we also find a wide range of other elements that hold the listener’s attention and deepen their experience of the music. This might be an absolutely killer riff, or a piercing solo or melody, or a technical workout that feels well-earned. It might also be a moment of unexpected atmosphere, or maybe a progressive edge that appears unheralded, but then steals the show.

The violence and ferocity here is very real and almost tangible, so much so that it can almost obscure the buried gems in the album’s depths. As such, multiple spins are recommended to really let the music worm its way into your head. And worm it does. And by worm, I mean takes a sledgehammer to your skull to get at the meaty inside.

This is, quite simply, a great death metal album from a highly skilled band.

Essential listening for fans of the style.

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