When Decibel streamed Malevich‘s 2018 split with Iron Gag, the Atlanta grind quartet had recently welcomed vocalist Connor Ray into the fold. With the addition of Ray, Malevich began to redefine their sound, something that comes full circle on the band’s second album Our Hollow.
Our Hollow is a caustic amalgam of extreme metal’s various styles, pulling liberally from grindcore, sludge, death and black metal and even screamo; each song has a unique-but-unified sound. Second track “Throne of Decadence” is a short-and-sweet ripper propelled by rumbling bass and jagged riffs and “The Endless Hunger of a Convenient God” could be an unused song from Converge’s early years.
“Distended Empire,” the penultimate offering on Our Hollow, doles out a full song’s worth of demoralizing sludge before building into a post-metal epic. The best is saved for last: album closer “You and I (Illuminated in Waves of Purpose)” is one of the year’s best grindcore songs, dancing simultaneously with aggression and melody.
The lyrics on Our Hollow deserve special mention. The words for each song are thoughtful, poetic and poignant, which adds a layer of emotional weight to the album when performed by the band’s three vocalists (Ray, who also plays guitar; drummer Sasha Schilbrack-Cole and bassist Daniel DeSimone).
“This record is a culmination the past three years of work, touring the majority of North America and pushing ourselves as musicians,” Schilbrack-Cole tells Decibel. “Thematically, it is a rejection of growing fascism in the world and a challenge to ourselves as individuals to grow. Our hollow is our lack of compassion, our inability to consider the most vulnerable among us, and the despair that sits in the pit of our stomach.”
Malevich are set to release Our Hollow on Friday, October 25, but you can stream the whole thing below right now.