Live Review: Malevolence – Wolverhampton

Live Review: Malevolence - KK's Steel Mill, Wolverhampton
5th February 2024
Support: Rough Justice, Pain of Truth
Words: Cat Finch
Photos: Tim Finch

Off the back of a sell out UK tour last November, Malevolence are back on the road, this time hitting some far more intimate venues with some special gigs to pay it back to their fans for their support. This evening they roll into the legendary KK’S Steel Mill in Wolverhampton for a 500 capacity sold out show, with Pain of Truth and Rough Justice in support.

Sheffield powerhouse Rough Justice brought a relentless onslaught of energy to the stage as the opening act. Landing here off the back of new album ‘Faith In Vain’ and featuring Malevolence guitarist Josh on drums.

Their set, incorporating the likes of ‘Coward’, ‘Akrasia’ and ‘Faith in Vain’, showcased the band's uncompromising approach to hardcore. Each song hit like a sledgehammer, with punishing riffs and guttural vocals that reverberated throughout the venue. Rough Justice's raw authenticity and unrelenting energy created an atmosphere of controlled chaos and setting the stage for what was to come.

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

Pain of Truth delivered a gripping and emotionally charged performance with a setlist that included tracks like ‘Blood on Your Hands’, ‘Lifeless On The Ground’ and ‘In Your Heart’, Pain of Truth showcased their ability to blend brutal aggression with an old school hardcore vibe.

Each song was a visceral exploration of human emotion and the harsh realities of existence. Tracks like ‘The Test’ and ‘This Falls on You’ delved into themes of personal struggle and resilience. The band's intense stage presence and unwavering conviction brought their music to life, creating an atmosphere of raw vulnerability and sheer power.

As main support, Pain of Truth more than held their own, the crowd a feral sea of flailing limbs as circle pits and windmills ruled the floor. From the searing aggression of ‘Scarred’ to the anthemic power of ‘Pain of Truth’, the band left no stone unturned in their quest to destroy the Steel Mill this evening.

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

For Malevolence, this evening has been a long time coming. It’s ten years since they last played the Black Country – a mere support act that evening at the now defunct Slade Rooms. Since then they have built a powerhouse of a reputation they’ve played Bloodstock twice (with a third appearance pending) they’ve headlined O2 venues across the UK to sold out crowds, they’ve signed with Nuclear Blast and are on the verge of world domination. All this makes this intimate tour, and this evenings stop in the West Midlands second city all the more special.

From the moment they kicked off with ‘Malicious Intent’, the venue was engulfed in a frenzy of mosh pits and crowd surfing, the venues small team of security getting a big workout this evening.

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

The set was meticulously crafted to showcase Malevolence's ferocious blend of hardcore and metal, drawing heavily from their latest album while also treating fans to some beloved classics. Tracks like ‘Life Sentence’ and ‘Slave to Satisfaction’ resonated with raw power, each riff and breakdown hitting with bone-crushing intensity. ‘Waste of Myself’ and ‘Karma’ provided moments of introspection amidst the chaos, demonstrating the band's ability to vary the intensity of their relentless onslaught.

The crowd erupted into a frenzy during ‘Self Supremacy’, the anthemic chorus igniting a sense of unity among fans. ‘Remain Unbeaten’ and ‘Still Waters Run Deep’ kept the momentum surging forward, with vocalist Alex Taylor commanding the stage with unwavering charisma and conviction.

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

A blistering drum solo served as a brief respite before Malevolence launched into ‘Keep Your Distance’, a song that incited a riotous response from the crowd. Closing out the night with ‘On Broken Glass’, the band left nothing on the table, pouring every ounce of energy into a performance that will be remembered long after the lights dimmed.

Malevolence's headline show at KK's Steel Mill was a masterclass in aggression and passion. With a setlist that catered to both longtime fans and newcomers alike, they proved once again why they're one of the most formidable acts in the metal scene today.

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography
Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography
Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

Photo credits: Tim Finch Photography

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