Sound — 8
You'd be an idiot to suggest that Malevolent Creation isn't in at the very top of the death metal pack. They've been right up there since 1990 and have never descended from their peak. While their contemporaries experimented, f--ked up and generally fell, Malevolent Creation's viciousness, evilness and brutality (I don't mean that they're brutal death metal, just that they're brutal, if you get my drift) have kept them right up there with the likes of Incantation and Suffocation. While some of their contemporaries put out some disappointing material around this time, Morbid Angel and Immolation especially, Malevolent Creation is still delivering music that lays waste to most other metal of the year. While they don't further their style on this release, it is still very f--king good. The riffs, as you'd expect from Malevolent Creation, are down-tuned, thrashy and old-school with tremolo-picked riffing over the top and pounding drums, all combining to remind the listener of death metal's prime in the early 90s. Compared to some of their other albums, it is a lesser offering. This doesn't mean that it's bad though, as most albums when compared to the likes of The Will to Kill, Envenomed, and The Fine Art of Murder fail miserably.
Lyrics — 6
The vocals are a bit annoying at times but generally they are fine. Sometimes they sound a bit droning and unfortunately there is not much variation, which really is needed when you sing like this guy does. Lyrically, Malevolent Creation expectedly sing about death and destruction. Song titles like Pre-emptive Strike, Ravaged by Conflict and Supremacy Through Annihilation are pretty standard Malevolent Creation and they don't break much new ground here. My review of their lyrics and vocals might sound a bit disappointed but believe me I'm not. While I'm not necessarily impressed, the vocals and lyrics don't detract from the music and are competent at the very least.
Overall Impression — 7
Overall this is not quite the masterpiece that Malevolent Creation's last three albums were, but it is a capable offering that still beats most death metal of the day. Malevolent Creation don't reinvent themselves, they never have, but at the same time they manage not to fall into the kind of formulaic routine that bands like Deicide and Cannibal Corpse have. They manage to entertain, and though I probably wouldn't buy this again if I lost it, I'd probably go and download it. It's not the kind of album that would dominate your stereo for months, but it's definitely worth more than one spin.