DETHEROUS “Unrelenting Malevolence”
By Dr. Abner Mality
Here’s one for those who like the extreme side of thrash...and nothing but. This Canadian band comes out at full blast and rarely lets up. They deliver exactly what the title promises, but I must say, it gets pretty monotonous at times and doesn’t create a lot of memorability.
They probably don’t care too much about that. This is thrash that’s in the ballpark of DEMOLITION HAMMER, VIO-LENCE and DARK ANGEL. Yet I can’t say DETHEROUS is one the level of those bands. There was something unique about those acts and the time they operated in that made them special. DETHEROUS emerge in the era when 1000 extreme metal albums get released a week. In the glory days of the late 80’s/early 90’s, there were about 50 in an entire year. There was some kind of filter operating back then which is absent now.
Having got that off my chest, the band does brutally slash their way through 10 tracks that verge on death metal. I actually find the better tracks are in the second half of the album, with “Reek of the Decayed” and “Tormented by the Dead” standing out. These tracks are a little bit chunkier and the riffing more memorable. And they don’t overstay their welcome. “Suspended In Agony”, the second cut on this obliterating opus, is a five minute plus song that should have been about three and a half minutes. It just drags on and on. The best track here is actually a cover...DEMOLITION HAMMER’s “Skull Fracturing Nightmare”. Very hard to screw that one up.
The energy and brutality on “Unrelenting Malevolence” is non-stop and if that’s what you’re looking for, the record is can’t miss. But the great thrashers have something more than that in what they are doing and DETHEROUS haven’t quite gotten there yet.