1998, was a good year for Death Metal, very good we could say as Formulas Fatal to the Flesh (Morbid Angel), Orthodox (Krabathor), Diabolical Conquest (Incantation), Aggressive Measures (Sinister) were released this year. Malevolent Creation may have released the ultra-heavy In Cold Blood in 1997 with Derek Roddy on drums proving to be a real phenomenon but the compositions were rather weak. Fasciana saw it and shuffled the deck once again.
First of all, guitars written in the veins of Retribution (the band’s sophomore album from 1992), Fasciana and Barrett (Cannibal Corpse) trademark recipe and the chaisaw guitars stick you to the wall. The return of Hoffman who seems to have escaped his demons in a more thrash pattern; all the above seem to be helped by the production of Brian Griffin of Broken Hope fame. In almost all of his productions he had a more premium, flat sound, see also Internal Bleeding, Disfigured, Defiled etc. We would say that he wanted to make it a trademark of Quali Tone studios.
The ace up in MC’s sleeve is Dave Culross. They have just released Despise the Sun with Suffocation and the skies are torn apart … Broken Pieces Fall from the Sky… So he returns after Eternal (1995) and the lineup becomes an all-star one. In a conversation we had in 1999 on their live in Athens, he told me: “I had never listened to the music for this album. I wrote the music on paper, we flew into the studio and I recorded my parts”.
The Fine Art of Murder was the album that the average Malevolent Creation fans wanted; ok Blachowicz as a substitute responded perfectly in his duties, but if Bret’s soul and guts do not come out on the microphone, the job is not done.
O tempora O mores, as there are a couple of fillers but the rest of the album grabs you like a pit-bull as if you were trying to invade into his yard; Proof of this are the songs: Bone Exposed, Manic Demise, To Die Is at Hand, Scattered Flesh, a proper massacre and with a few grind passages as a gift from Hateplow’s heritage. But even in the slowest moments of the records like Fracture, Fine Αrt of Μurder and Mass Graves, the Americans show their technical skills. With a drummer and a riff machine like Rob and Phil respectively, it is impossible to fail.
The most epic moment of FAOM is the song (that should close the album in my humble opinion and this is) Instinct Involved third in the tracklisting. An anthem of paranoia and darkness in its slow parts. It reminds me of the Disciples of Abhorrence from Stillborn album (1993), it brings out an emotional charge which breaks out with the groove and the earth starts shaking …. Fake your Life, Wage your Wars, Give this Night, that Soul you Whore …. Really who will put up with this malicious (lol) creation?