The UK’s new rising metal stars, Malevolence, taking the world by storm, release their blistering 3rd album ‘Malicious Intent’ and we catch up with vocalist, Alex Taylor to tell us more!
Album Art - Eliran Kantor
With successful festival appearances in 2021 and a hugely successful support slot with Architects and Sleep Token on their arena tour recently in 2022 there was no doubt that Malevolence’s 3rd album Malicious Intent, was highly anticipated.
‘ We started writing this album maybe probably two years ago now, we've had some other some other riffs and some of the basis of the songs even longer, but when we started when we were picking the tracks for the EP, we kind of new the next thing we did would be a full length album and the songs that we didn't put in the EP, kind of form the foundation for the song for the full length, so, we can hit the ground running after The Other Side EP, we already had half an album pretty much written, and yeah a lot of hard work went into it.’
‘We’ve obviously really kind of pushed ourselves out of our comfort zone as much as we can, which we always strive to do whilst also keeping that true, authentic Malevolence sound, and I'm really proud of what we've done, there’s some really proud moments on the album, for example, ‘Salvation’ is a song that I probably been the most honest and open lyrically than I ever had before, but then you've got songs like ‘Above All Else’ and On Broken Glass’ which are just like big sing along metal anthems, they wanna motivate you and smash your day and then we've also got the songs for the self-reflection and we where we wind things down a bit with ‘Higher Place’ and I feel like if you're a Malevolence fan then you've known for a while that this is the album that's been coming, then you've been expecting this, but I think it will probably blow people away and for people who haven't heard of us or maybe have heard the name kicking about a little bit then it will be the album they make people sit up and pay attention!’
Alex explains further the reason for being so open lyrically on some of the songs on the new album.
’ I didn't necessarily consciously do, when I was writing that song it just felt right I know that sounds like the cliche thing to say, but it was just one of those moments where I was like, you know what I'm going to be honest here, I know what the theme was so when I'm writing lyrics for a song, before I even make a start, I listen to the song with no vocals on, I kind of gauged the theme or vibe off music itself, but if I feel like it's a motivational song, or if I feel like it's a song for you know, getting a bit open and honest, whatever it may be, that's where I’ll decide at the start. I already knew that this song was going to be a bit more of an emotional one, a bit more honest so yeah when I started writing the lyrics it kinda just happened almost naturally really, we picked up on what we all knew what the theme was when we were sat down writing the lyrics, and then yeah it's just kind of came out. There wasn't necessarily a particular occurrence or anything like that, that motivate me, I just felt like obviously we know. We’re getting in to our third studio album, where we’re more mature than we were when we were writing ‘Reign Of Suffering’ .The lyrical content needs to mature with us and so yeah it's just one of those things right just felt quite natural and I felt like the right time to be open and honest.’
Trivium’s Matt Heafy is a guest on the album and I wanted to know how that connection came about. Alex goes on to explain ‘he kind of hit us up on social media, I know he followed Josh first on Instagram and Josh had put it in our group chat that Matt’s just followed me from Trivium and then he followed the band page and then messaged the band page directly and said ‘I've heard you guys are working on a new album I'd love to be a part of it, if there’s any way I can help please let me know’, and we were like yeah of course. he's one of our childhood heroes one of my my biggest inspirations when I was just starting to listen to heavy metal, ‘Ascendancy’ was and still is one of my favourite albums of all time so it was a big inspiration for me so I wasn't exactly going to turn round and say no’ Alex laughs…’and when he reached out we already actually written and recorded ‘Salvation’, it was already finished but I knew as soon as he reached out and I was like that's the song we need to get him on that's the one where he's gonna shine on and he's gonna fit, and you know it's still probably one of my favourite songs on the album. To have him on it as well just kind of solidified it as being one of my favourite Malev love songs we've ever written, so we went back to the studio and then you know kind of change things about and he recorded his piece within a few days of us saying yeah let's do it, layed down a sick, me and him went back to back on a few verses and then he joins Khan for the final chorus. He live streamed his whole recording on his twitch channel so all of the lads were tuning in and watching him do it so yeah it was a bit surreal but sick. Absolutely really grateful to him that he was willing to get involved so yeah shouts out to Matt’
Malevolence have always been a DIY band from the merch right through to recording and have even signed a global partnership with Nuclear Blast Records and their own record label MLVLTD. We wanted to know what the recording process was on the new Malicious Intent album.
‘so the all of the instruments were recorded at Tree House studios with Jim Pinder engineer and producer and it was mixed and mastered by Carl Brown but in terms of the vocals, all of the vocals were done here in our studio that we built, purely because we just wanted to the flexibility to record it around our work and social lives. Plus there’s less pressure as well you know, we don't have to pay for studio time, we can just come and do a little bit here and there and yeah some days when you know you're not feeling it, it was quite good to just come down and be like, you know I'm not feeling it today and we haven't wasted a full studio day. So all the vocals were done here pretty much, just hours and hours of me and Josh sat here right where I'm sat now and grinding away, spending hours in the vocal booth and putting in the work so yeah.’
‘I've not stepped in that vocal booth since, I hate it’ he laughs ’ I spent so many hours in there that I haven't stepped in it in ages, so yeah it was nice having that flexibility.’ Alex continues to laugh as tells us ‘I hate recording, it’s my least favourite part about being in the band and I’ll tell anyone that, I much prefer the live show, that’s where the energy is for me that’s what I buzz off.’
On the live scene Alex explains ‘We can’t wait to get back to Download festival 2022, we’re playing Knotfest Germany, there may be a few surprises too that might pop up in the pipeline, yeah I think people will be excited in the UK and some will be excited stateside. Watch this space.'
Malevolence third album ‘Malicious Intent’ is out now. For all up to date details on tours merch and music, check out https://mlvltd.com/